Grain legume response to future climate in Europe

Grain legume response to future climate and adaptation strategies in Europe, a review of simulation studies

In Europe, increasing the area of legume crops has been identified as a key measure to achieve the objectives set by the European Green Deal and transition toward more sustainable food systems. Although the role of grain legumes in climate change mitigation has been closely examined, little research has focused on how climate change will challenge the development of these crops. This article systematically reviews recent simulation studies to assess the impact of climate change on grain legume performances in Europe and the effect of adaptation strategies.

Forty papers using process-based, ecological niche, or statistical models were selected to simulate the response of eight grain legume species to future climate (2020–2100) in Europe. The lack of data on adaptation strategies in Europe was compensated for by enlarging the study area to climatically similar regions. The review highlights a notable imbalance between research about soybean versus other grain legumes, with soybean representing approximately 80% of selected studies. Studies focused on soybean found good agreement, with yield or suitability gains found in northern Europe and a higher probability of yield losses in southern and south-eastern Europe. While a similar spatial pattern may be expected for other grain legumes, the scarcity of data makes this result more uncertain.

The review also shows that several adaptation strategies have the potential to mitigate the negative impact of climate change on grain legume performances or enhance its positive impact. The most promising strategies tested include irrigation, change in sowing date, and cultivar choice. In addition, we identify several knowledge gaps that, if addressed, would support legume development in Europe. In particular, key species such as field pea, faba bean, lentil, and chickpea remain blind spots, despite their prominent role in European environmental, agricultural, and nutritional policies. Other knowledge gaps include a lack of accounting for crop response to elevated CO2, ozone, and future biotic pressure, and a limited range of adaptation strategies tested and indicators assessed. Implementing multi-criteria analyses that involve stakeholders would help identify relevant inputs and outputs for future simulations.

Bibliographic référence :
Marie Marteau-Bazouni, Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy, Nicolas Guilpart,
Grain legume response to future climate and adaptation strategies in Europe: A review of simulation studies,
European Journal of Agronomy,
Volume 153, 2024,

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Modification date : 21 December 2023 | Publication date : 18 December 2023 | Redactor : OR