Title: Trend analysis of the water requirements, consumption and deficit of field crops in Europe
Citation: AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST METEOROLOGY vol. 150 no. 1 p. 77-88
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC52426
ISSN: 0168-1923
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agrformet
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2009.09.002
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recent trends in European weather conditions per season and related crop water requirements, water consumption and water deficit were studied using the Crop Growth Monitoring System of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission for the period 1976-2005. We used CGMS model results for soft wheat as a typical winter crop and sugar beet as a typical spring/summer crop to analyze the regional pattern in the crop water use characteristics and the weather-induced changes in them. First we analyzed the spatial and temporal variation of mean temperatures and estimated global radiation, subsequently the spatial and temporal variation of the simulated water requirement, water consumption and water deficit were investigated. We found that the weather pattern changes are not uniformly distributed across Europe and show a seasonal dependence. The impacts of changing climate conditions differ per crop and region. In various European regions the wheat water requirement showed a downward trend which can be attributed to a shorter growing season as a result of higher temperatures and/or a lower evaporative demand in winter and spring as a result of diminishing global radiations in these seasons. Only a very limited number of regions showed an upward trend. For sugar beets the Mediterranean regions of France and Spain showed a downward trend in the water requirement which can be attributed to a lower evaporative demand due to reduced solar radiation in these regions in summer and autumn. Large areas with an upward trend in the water requirement are spread across the rest of Europe. These upward trends can be attributed to higher temperatures in summer and autumn. The regional patterns in the trends in actual crop water consumption and water deficit are less distinct than found for the crop water requirements, but the changes in these variables can be related to the combined effect of variations in crop water requirements and rainfall.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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