1. Climate Change: Challenges for Future Crop Adjustments

  1. Narendra Tuteja2 and
  2. Sarvajeet S. Gill3
  1. Jerry L. Hatfield

Published Online: 8 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9783527675265.ch01

Climate Change and Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Climate Change and Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance

How to Cite

Hatfield, J. L. (2013) Climate Change: Challenges for Future Crop Adjustments, in Climate Change and Plant Abiotic Stress Tolerance (eds N. Tuteja and S. S. Gill), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527675265.ch01

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Plant Molecular Biology Group, International Center for Genetic, Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067,India

  2. 3

    221, Stress Physiology & Molecular Biology Lab, Centre for Biotechnology, Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak 124001, Haryana, India

Author Information

  1. USDA-ARS, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, 2110 University Blvd., Ames, IA, 50011, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 18 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527334919

Online ISBN: 9783527675265



  • grain quality;
  • phenological stage;
  • precipitation pattern;
  • soil degradation;
  • temperature stress;
  • water stress;
  • water-use efficiency


Climate change will affect all agricultural areas over the coming years; however, this effect will not be equally distributed spatially or temporally. Increasing temperatures of 2–3 °C over the next 40 years will expose plants to higher temperatures throughout their life cycle and also increase the atmospheric demand for water vapor, adding to the stress because of the increased rate of crop water use. Coupling the effect of temperature with a more variable precipitation pattern creates a combination of temperature and moisture stress on crop plants. This will affect our ability to increase water-use efficiency (WUE) in crops in order to produce more grain or forage with less water. One positive aspect of climate change is that rising carbon dioxide increases the rate of photosynthesis and also decreases the rate of transpiration, leading to increased WUE. Our challenge will be to determine how to extrapolate these effects to whole canopies and into management systems that take advantage of this effect. The changing climate will not only affect growth and development of plants, but also the quality of the product. In evaluating the effect of climate on plants we need to include the direct effects of perennial plants because adaptation strategies for these production systems will be more complex than in annual crops. To ensure an adequate food and feed supply required to meet the needs of 9 billion people requires a transdisciplinary approach to develop innovative strategies to manage our crop production systems to reduce or eliminate the impact of climate change.