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The potential global distribution and dynamics of wheat under multiple climate change scenarios

Yue, Yaojie, Zhang, Puying, Shang, Yanrui
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.688 pp. 1308-1318
Triticum aestivum, climate change, climatic factors, crop production, crops, data collection, drought, food security, geographical distribution, heat, heat sums, land suitability, latitude, models, prediction, risk, temperature, wheat, Australia, Canada, China, Eastern Africa, India, Pakistan, Russia, United States
Accurately predicting changes in the potential distribution of crops resulting from climate change has great significance for adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change and ensuring food security. Based on very large datasets of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) occurrence points and the main environmental factors that affect wheat growth, we used the Maxent model to predict the future global potential distribution and land suitability for wheat cultivation under multiple global climate change scenarios. Our results indicated that the suitability for wheat cultivation is primarily influenced by climatic factors and that the ≥0 °C accumulated temperature is especially important. The RCP4.5 scenario is more favourable for wheat cultivation, whereas the RCP8.5 scenario is the least favourable. Moreover, land suitability for wheat cultivation increased in Europe, Russia, the United States, Canada, China, and Pakistan, whereas a decreasing trend in suitability was found in Central and Eastern Africa, Australia, and South India. Overall, climate change is predicted to increase land suitability for wheat cultivation in middle- and high-latitude areas, and to decrease suitability in low latitude areas. Although the global distribution of wheat will not significantly alter with climate change, the risks to wheat cultivation may be significantly higher in the future because of high temperatures, heat waves, and droughts caused by climate change.