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CR 65:175-192 (2015)  -  DOI:

Water balance, drought stress and yields for rainfed field crop rotations under present and future conditions in the Czech Republic

Petr Hlavinka1,2,*, Kurt Christian Kersebaum3, Martin Dubrovský4, Milan Fischer1,2, Eva Pohanková1,2, Jan Balek1,2, Zdenĕk Žalud1,2, Miroslav Trnka1,2 

1Institute of Agrosystems and Bioclimatology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Global Change Research Centre AS CR, v.v.i., Bělidla 986/4a, 603 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Institute of Landscape Systems Analysis, 14 Eberswalder Str. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
4Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Academy of Sciences CR, Boˇcní II/1401, 14131 Prague, Czech Republic
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Continuous crop rotation modeling is a prospective trend that, compared to 1-crop or discrete year-by-year calculations, can provide more accurate results that are closer to real conditions. The goal of this study was to compare the water balance and yields estimated by the HERMES crop rotation model for present and future climatic conditions in the Czech Republic. Three locations were selected, representing important agricultural regions with different climatic conditions. Crop rotation (spring barley, silage maize, winter wheat, winter rape) was simulated from 1981-2080. The 1981-2010 period was covered by measured meteorological data, while 2011-2080 was represented by a transient synthetic weather series from the weather generator M&Rfi. The data were based on 5 circulation models, representing an ensemble of 18 CMIP3 global circulation models, to preserve much of the uncertainty of the original ensemble. Two types of crop management were compared, and the influences of soil quality, increasing atmospheric CO2 and adaptation measures (i.e. sowing date changes) were also considered. Results suggest that under a ‘dry’ scenario (such as GFCM21), C3 crops in drier regions will be devastated for a significant number of seasons. Negative impacts are likely even on premium-quality soils regardless of flexible sowing dates and accounting for increasing CO2 concentrations. Moreover, in dry conditions, the use of crop rotations with catch crops may have negative impacts, exacerbating the soil water deficit for subsequent crops. This approach is a promising method for determining how various management strategies and crop rotations can affect yields as well as water, carbon and nitrogen cycling.

KEY WORDS: Crop growth model · Evapotranspiration · Soil · Climate change

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Cite this article as: Hlavinka P, Kersebaum KC, Dubrovský M, Fischer M and others (2015) Water balance, drought stress and yields for rainfed field crop rotations under present and future conditions in the Czech Republic. Clim Res 65:175-192.

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