Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 55–68 | Cite as

Spatial assessment of climate change effects on crop suitability for major plantation crops in Sri Lanka

  • P. M. S. Jayathilaka
  • Peeyush SoniEmail author
  • Sylvain R. Perret
  • H. P. W. Jayasuriya
  • Vilas M. Salokhe
Original Article


Climate change is the main global challenge of this century; it is therefore imperative to identify its effects on agriculture in developing countries. This research makes spatial assessment of climate change effect on major plantation crops in Sri Lanka, with emphasis on crop suitability of tea, rubber, and coconut. Geo-referenced maps of spatial and temporal changes in crop suitability and production potentials are generated and compared. Data pertaining to six agro-ecological zones under the study area are analyzed for a period of 1980–2007. Crop suitability maps are generated amalgamating yield maps and climatic factors maps using AHP in multi-criteria analysis under two time frames of 1980–1992 and 1993–2007. Percent change in crop suitability and crop yield classes is calculated based on five crop suitability and five crop yield classes during two time frames. Dynamics of climatic parameters and crop yield are recognized using geo-referenced maps. The suitability maps of the two time frames are compared to identify the changes with each crop in conjunction with changes in the prevailing climate and yield. Geographic shift of suitability, yield, and climate classes are examined. Net gain or loss in crop production is quantified. Long-term annual rainfall significantly decreased in mid-country wet zone, whereas the mean temperature of the study area increased by 1.4°C. Results clearly showed that the climate and yield can be meaningfully related to the crop suitability and management.


Climate change Crop suitability Agro-ecological zone Plantation crop GIS Crop yield Tea Rubber Coconut Sri Lanka 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. S. Jayathilaka
    • 1
  • Peeyush Soni
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sylvain R. Perret
    • 3
  • H. P. W. Jayasuriya
    • 4
  • Vilas M. Salokhe
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of National PlanningMinistry of Finance and PlanningColomboSri Lanka
  2. 2.Agricultural Systems and Engineering, School of Environment Resources and DevelopmentAsian Institute of TechnologyPathumthaniThailand
  3. 3.UMR G-Eau, CIRAD; Water Engineering and ManagementSchool of Engineering and Technology, Asian Institute of TechnologyPathumthaniThailand
  4. 4.Sultan Qaboos UniversityMuscatOman
  5. 5.Kaziranga UniversityJorhatIndia

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