Impact of Climate Change on Forage Availability for Livestock

  • Kandalam GiridharEmail author
  • Anandan Samireddypalle


Climate change has the potential to impact the quantity and reliability of forage production, quality of forage, water demand for cultivation of forage crops, as well as large-scale rangeland vegetation patterns. The most visible effect of climate change will be on the primary productivity of forage crops and rangelands. Developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change than developed countries because of the predominance of agriculture in their economies and their warmer baseline climates, besides their limited resources to adapt to newer technologies. In the coming decades, crops and forage plants will continue to be subjected to warmer temperatures, elevated carbon dioxide, as well as wildly fluctuating water availability due to changing precipitation patterns. The interplay among these factors will decide the actual impact on plant growth and yield. Elevated CO2 levels are likely to promote dry matter production in C3 plants more as compared to C4 plants, and the quantum of response is dependent on the interactions among the nature of crop, soil moisture, and soil nutrient availability. Due to the wide fluctuations in distribution of rainfall in growing season in several regions of the world, the forage production will be greatly impacted. As the agricultural sector is the largest user of freshwater resources, the dwindling water supplies will adversely affect the forage crop production. With proper adaptation measures ably supported by suitable policies by the governments, it is possible to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change and ensure livestock productivity through optimum forage availability.


Climate change Forage yield Forage quality Livestock 


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© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and PhysiologyBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.International Livestock Research InstituteIITA IbadanIbadanNigeria

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