Climatic Change

, Volume 70, Issue 1–2, pp 117–135 | Cite as

Impacts of Present and Future Climate Variability on Agriculture and Forestry in the Temperate Regions: Europe

Article

Abstract

Agriculture and forestry will be particularly sensitive to changes in mean climate and climate variability in the northern and southern regions of Europe. Agriculture may be positively affected by climate change in the northern areas through the introduction of new crop species and varieties, higher crop production and expansion of suitable areas for crop cultivation. The disadvantages may be determined by an increase in need for plant protection, risk of nutrient leaching and accelerated breakdown of soil organic matter. In the southern areas the benefits of the projected climate change will be limited, while the disadvantages will be predominant. The increased water use efficiency caused by increasing CO2 will compensate for some of the negative effects of increasing water limitation and extreme weather events, but lower harvestable yields, higher yield variability and reduction in suitable areas of traditional crops are expected for these areas. Forestry in the Mediterranean region may be mainly affected by increases in drought and forest fires. In northern Europe, the increased precipitation is expected to be large enough to compensate for the increased evapotranspiration. On the other hand, however, increased precipitation, cloudiness and rain days and the reduced duration of snow cover and soil frost may negatively affect forest work and timber logging determining lower profitability of forest production and a decrease in recreational possibilities. Adaptation management strategies should be introduced, as effective tools, to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on agricultural and forestry sectors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianpiero Maracchi
    • 1
  • Oleg Sirotenko
    • 2
  • Marco Bindi
    • 3
  1. 1.IBIMET-CNRFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.ARRIAMObninskRussia
  3. 3.DISAT-UNIFIFlorenceItaly

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