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Title: The combined and separate impacts of climate extremes on the current and future US rainfed maize and soybean production under elevated CO 2

Heat and drought are two emerging climatic threats to theUSmaize and soybean production, yet their impacts on yields are collectively determined by the magnitude of climate change and rising atmosphericCO2concentrations. This study quantifies the combined and separate impacts of high temperature, heat and drought stresses on the current and futureUSrainfed maize and soybean production and for the first time characterizes spatial shifts in the relative importance of individual stress. Crop yields are simulated using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), driven by high‐resolution (12 km) dynamically downscaled climate projections for 1995–2004 and 2085–2094. Results show that maize and soybean yield losses are prominent in theUSMidwest by the late 21st century under both Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 andRCP8.5 scenarios, and the magnitude of loss highly depends on the current vulnerability and changes in climate extremes. Elevated atmosphericCO2partially but not completely offsets the yield gaps caused by climate extremes, and the effect is greater in soybean than in maize. Our simulations suggest that drought will continue to be the largest threat toUSrainfed maize production underRCP4.5 and soybean production under bothRCPscenarios, whereas high temperature and heat stress take over the dominant stress of drought on maize underRCP8.5. We also reveal that shifts in the geographic distributions of dominant stresses are characterized by the increase in concurrent stresses, especially for theUSMidwest. These findings imply the importance of considering heat and drought stresses simultaneously for future agronomic adaptation and mitigation strategies, particularly for breeding programs and crop management. The modeling framework of partitioning the total effects of climate change into individual stress impacts can be applied to the study of other crops and agriculture systems.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Global Change Biology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2687-2704
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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