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CR 34:105-117 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/cr034105

Effects of climate change and CO2 increase on potential agricultural production in Southern Québec, Canada

J. P. Brassard1, B. Singh2,*

1Department of Economics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T7, Canada
2Département de Géographie, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec H3C 3J7, Canada
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: We assessed the effect of greenhouse gas-induced climate change, as well as the direct fertilization effect of CO2, on crop yields in Québec, Canada. Our methodology coupled the transient diagnostics of 2 Atmosphere–Ocean General Circulation Models (CGCM1 and HadCM3) to the DSSAT 3.5 crop simulation system to simulate current (1961–1990) and future (2040–2069) crop yields for spring wheat, maize, soybean and potato grown in 8 agricultural regions of Québec. For the future (2040–2069), we predict significant yield increases for soybean, lesser increases for wheat, no significant change for maize, and yield decreases for potato. These yields, especially for soybean, are further increased when incorporating the CO2 fertilization effect, but vary according to the crop, climate scenario and agricultural region. Similar trends have been found in comparable agricultural regions in the Northeastern USA and in Southern Finland. These results are useful for designing appropriate crop and farm management adaptation strategies in response to future climate change.

KEY WORDS: Climate change · CO2 increase · Canada · Crop yields

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