Potential benefits of drought and heat tolerance in groundnut for adaptation to climate change in India and West Africa
Climate change is projected to intensify drought and heat stress in groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) crop in rainfed regions. This will require developing high yielding groundnut cultivars that are both drought and heat tolerant. The crop growth simulation model for groundnut (CROPGRO-Groundnut model) was used to quantify the potential benefits of incorporating drought and heat tolerance and yield-enhancing traits into the commonly grown cultivar types at two sites each in India (Anantapur and Junagadh) and West Africa (Samanko, Mali and Sadore, Niger). Increasing crop maturity by 10 % increased yields up to 14 % at Anantapur, 19 % at Samanko and sustained the yields at Sadore. However at Junagadh, the current maturity of the cultivar holds well under future climate. Increasing yield potential of the crop by increasing leaf photosynthesis rate, partitioning to pods and seed-filling duration each by 10 % increased pod yield by 9 to 14 % over the baseline yields across the four sites. Under current climates of Anantapur, Junagadh and Sadore, the yield gains were larger by incorporating drought tolerance than heat tolerance. Under climate change the yield gains from incorporating both drought and heat tolerance increased to 13 % at Anantapur, 12 % at Junagadh and 31 % at Sadore. At the Samanko site, the yield gains from drought or heat tolerance were negligible. It is concluded that different combination of traits will be needed to increase and sustain the productivity of groundnut under climate change at the target sites and the CROPGRO-Groundnut model can be used for evaluating such traits.