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Fodor, Nandor; Challinor, Andrew; Droutsas, Ioannis; Ramirez-Villegas, Julian; Zabel, Florian; Koehler, Ann-Kristin; Foyer, Christine H. (2017): Integrating Plant Science and Crop Modeling: Assessment of the Impact of Climate Change on Soybean and Maize Production. In: Plant and Cell Physiology, Vol. 58, No. 11: pp. 1833-1847
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Increasing global CO2 emissions have profound consequences for plant biology, not least because of direct influences on carbon gain. However, much remains uncertain regarding how our major crops will respond to a future high CO2 world. Crop model inter-comparison studies have identified large uncertainties and biases associated with climate change. The need to quantify uncertainty has drawn the fields of plant molecular physiology, crop breeding and biology, and climate change modeling closer together. Comparing data from different models that have been used to assess the potential climate change impacts on soybean and maize production, future yield losses have been predicted for both major crops. When CO2 fertilization effects are taken into account significant yield gains are predicted for soybean, together with a shift in global production from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere. Maize production is also forecast to shift northwards. However, unless plant breeders are able to produce new hybrids with improved traits, the forecasted yield losses for maize will only be mitigated by agro-management adaptations. In addition, the increasing demands of a growing world population will require larger areas of marginal land to be used for maize and soybean production. We summarize the outputs of crop models, together with mitigation options for decreasing the negative impacts of climate on the global maize and soybean production, providing an overview of projected land-use change as a major determining factor for future global crop production.