Agroforestry is a promising adaptation measure for climate change, especially for low external inputs smallholder maize farming systems. However, due to its long-term nature and heterogeneity across farms and landscapes, it is difficult to quantitatively evaluate its contribution in building the resilience of farming systems to climate change over large areas. In this study, we developed an approach to simulate and emulate the shading, micro-climate regulation and biomass effects of multi-purpose trees agroforestry system on maize yields using APSIM, taking Ethiopia as a case study. Applying the model to simulate climate change impacts showed that at national level, maize yield will increase by 7.5 and 3.1 % by 2050 under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. This projected increase in national-level maize yield is driven by maize yield increases in six administrative zones whereas yield losses are expected in other five zones (mean of −6.8% for RCP2.6 and −11.7% for RCP8.5), with yields in the other four zones remaining stable overtime. Applying the emulated agroforestry leads to increase in maize yield under current and future climatic conditions compared to maize monocultures, particularly in regions for which yield losses under climate change are expected. A 10% agroforestry shade will reduce maize yield losses by 6.9% (RCP2.6) and 4.2 % (RCP8.5) while 20% shade will reduce maize yield losses by 11.5% (RCP2.6) and 11% (RCP8.5) for projected loss zones. Overall, our results show quantitatively that agroforestry buffers yield losses for areas projected to have yield losses under climate change in Ethiopia, and therefore should be part of building climate-resilient agricultural systems.

Quantifying Agroforestry Yield Buffering Potential Under Climate Change in the Smallholder Maize Farming Systems of Ethiopia

Yalew A. W.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Agroforestry is a promising adaptation measure for climate change, especially for low external inputs smallholder maize farming systems. However, due to its long-term nature and heterogeneity across farms and landscapes, it is difficult to quantitatively evaluate its contribution in building the resilience of farming systems to climate change over large areas. In this study, we developed an approach to simulate and emulate the shading, micro-climate regulation and biomass effects of multi-purpose trees agroforestry system on maize yields using APSIM, taking Ethiopia as a case study. Applying the model to simulate climate change impacts showed that at national level, maize yield will increase by 7.5 and 3.1 % by 2050 under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. This projected increase in national-level maize yield is driven by maize yield increases in six administrative zones whereas yield losses are expected in other five zones (mean of −6.8% for RCP2.6 and −11.7% for RCP8.5), with yields in the other four zones remaining stable overtime. Applying the emulated agroforestry leads to increase in maize yield under current and future climatic conditions compared to maize monocultures, particularly in regions for which yield losses under climate change are expected. A 10% agroforestry shade will reduce maize yield losses by 6.9% (RCP2.6) and 4.2 % (RCP8.5) while 20% shade will reduce maize yield losses by 11.5% (RCP2.6) and 11% (RCP8.5) for projected loss zones. Overall, our results show quantitatively that agroforestry buffers yield losses for areas projected to have yield losses under climate change in Ethiopia, and therefore should be part of building climate-resilient agricultural systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5008988
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