CR 65:193-203 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01300

Modelling Bambara groundnut yield in Southern Africa: towards a climate-resilient future

A. S. Karunaratne1,2,*, S. Walker2, A. C. Ruane3

1Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Sabaragamuwa University, Belihuloya 70140, Sri Lanka
2Crops For the Future Research Centre (CFFRC), c/o University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Semenyih 43500, Selangor, Malaysia
3NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Current agriculture depends on a few major species grown as monocultures that are supported by global research underpinning current productivity. However, many hundreds of alternative crops have the potential to meet real world challenges by sustaining humanity, diversifying agricultural systems for food and nutritional security, and especially responding to climate change through their resilience to certain climate conditions. Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.), an underutilised African legume, is an exemplar crop for climate resilience. Predicted yield performances of Bambara groundnut by AquaCrop (a crop-water productivity model) were evaluated for baseline (1980-2009) and mid-century climates (2040-2069) under 20 downscaled Global Climate Models (CMIP5-RCP8.5), as well as for climate sensitivities (AgMIP-C3MP) across 3 locations in Southern Africa (Botswana, South Africa, Namibia). Different landraces of Bambara groundnut originating from various semi-arid African locations showed diverse yield performances with diverse sensitivities to climate. S19 originating from hot-dry conditions in Namibia has greater future yield potential compared to the Swaziland landrace Uniswa Red-UN across study sites. South Africa has the lowest yield under the current climate, indicating positive future yield trends. Namibia reported the highest baseline yield at optimum current temperatures, indicating less yield potential in future climates. Bambara groundnut shows positive yield potential at temperatures of up to ~31°C, with further warming pushing yields down. Thus, many regions in Southern Africa can utilize Bambara groundnut successfully in the coming decades. This modelling exercise supports decisions on genotypic suitability for present and future climates at specific locations.


KEY WORDS: Bambara groundnut · Southern Africa · Future scenarios · Climate sensitivities


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Karunaratne AS, Walker S, Ruane AC (2015) Modelling Bambara groundnut yield in Southern Africa: towards a climate-resilient future. Clim Res 65:193-203. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01300

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -