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Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 14742

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Athabasca River Basin Research Institute, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada
Interests: multidisciplinary modelling; watershed modelling; agroecosystem modelling; agricultural and environmental sustainability; renewable energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Athabasca River Basin Research Institute, Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada
Interests: multidisciplinary modeling; renewable energy; biofilm-related processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

A rapidly growing population and economic development are putting immense pressure on water, energy, and land resources and causing loss of property and life and precarious food supplies. Climate change is altering all components of the agroecosystem, such as degradation of the environment, droughts, floods, frost-freezes, salinization, desertification, and heatwaves stress. It is the changing frequency and magnitude of these extreme events due to climate change that poses a notable threat to environmental and agricultural sustainability and food security of billions of people around the world. Agriculture is vulnerable to climate change due to more frequent extreme events, particularly in developing countries.

The agriculture sector has the ability to act either as a source or a sink of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs). Agricultural GHG emission reduction is attracting attention across the world, and various management directions have great mitigation potentials. A wide range of agricultural GHG reduction practices have already been explored in terms of mitigation potential and cost-effectiveness, such as improved crop cultivation, irrigation, and fertilization to increase soil carbon storage, improved livestock and manure management to reduce menthane emission, and agricultural waste conversion to bioenergy. Making development more sustainable can enhance both mitigative and adaptive capacity while reducing emissions and vulnerability to climate change. These mitigation strategies are intended to influence high-level strategic decisions, specify policy support priorities, and encourage stakeholders to use mitigation measures.

This Special Issue of Sustainability invites innovative scientific contributions that tackle climate change mitigation and adaptation in sustainable agriculture, addressing the nexus between water, energy, food, and improving the understanding of complex adaptive systems.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Improved crop cultivation, irrigation, and fertilization
  • Soil carbon storage
  • Freshwater security
  • Improved livestock and manure management
  • Agricultural waste conversion to bioenergy
  • Agricultural waste treatment
  • Agricultural bioresource technologies
  • Extreme events, including droughts, floods, frost-freezes, salinization, desertification, and heatwaves stress
  • Life cycle assessment and sustainability assessment of agricultural production
  • Environmental, social, and governance issues in agricultural management
  • Socio-economic, scientific and integrated approaches to sustainable development

We seek contributions that address agricultural sustainability and other challenges with a focus on sustainable agriculture from local, regional, or global perspectives.

Prof. Dr. Junye Wang
Dr. Mojtaba Aghajani Delavar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • agricultural and environmental sustainability
  • life cycle assessment
  • multidisciplinary modelling
  • agroecosystem modelling
  • agricultural waste treatment
  • bioresources
  • extreme events
  • soil degradation
  • livestock production
  • crop production
  • greenhouse gas emission from agriculture

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 7819 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Climate, Agriculture and Land Cover in Matopiba, Brazil (1985–2020)
by Mayara Lucyanne Santos de Araújo, Iana Alexandra Alves Rufino, Fabrício Brito Silva, Higor Costa de Brito and Jessflan Rafael Nascimento Santos
Sustainability 2024, 16(7), 2670; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16072670 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 748
Abstract
Climate change has been at the forefront of discussions in the scientific, economic, political, and public spheres. This study aims to analyze the impacts of climate change in the Matopiba region, assessing its relationship with land cover and land use, soybean crop production [...] Read more.
Climate change has been at the forefront of discussions in the scientific, economic, political, and public spheres. This study aims to analyze the impacts of climate change in the Matopiba region, assessing its relationship with land cover and land use, soybean crop production and yield, and ocean–atmosphere anomalies from 1985 to 2020. The analysis was conducted in four parts: (1) trends in annual and intra-annual climate changes, (2) the spatiotemporal dynamics of land cover and use, (3) the spatiotemporal dynamics of soybean production and yield, and (4) the relationship between climate change, agricultural practices, land cover and use, and ocean–atmosphere anomalies. Statistical analyses, including Mann–Kendall trend tests and Pearson correlation, were applied to understand these relationships comprehensively. The results indicate significant land cover and use changes over 35 years in Matopiba, with municipalities showing increasing soybean production and yield trends. There is a rising trend in annual and intra-annual maximum temperatures, alongside a decreasing trend in annual precipitation in the region. Intra-annual climate trends provide more specific insights for agricultural calendar planning. No correlation was found between the climate change trends and soybean production and yield in the evaluated data attributed to genetic and technological improvements in the region. The North Atlantic Ocean shows a positive correlation with soybean agricultural variables. Evidence suggests soybean production and yield growth under climate change scenarios. This study highlights soybeans’ adaptation and climate resilience in the Matopiba region, providing valuable insights for regional agricultural development and contributing to further research in environmental, water-related, social, and economic areas of global interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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17 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Rural Industrial Integration on Agricultural Carbon Emissions Evidence from China Provinces Data
by Yu Zhang and Yikang Liu
Sustainability 2024, 16(2), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/su16020680 - 12 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 742
Abstract
Based on the data from China’s provincial panel from 2008 to 2019, this paper explores the impact of rural industrial integration (RII) on agriculture carbon emissions (ACE). It is found that RII has significantly inhibited ACE. The 1% increase in RII led to [...] Read more.
Based on the data from China’s provincial panel from 2008 to 2019, this paper explores the impact of rural industrial integration (RII) on agriculture carbon emissions (ACE). It is found that RII has significantly inhibited ACE. The 1% increase in RII led to a 2.133% reduction in ACE; the RII can realize the goal of green agriculture by accelerating urbanization, thus inhibiting ACE. The labor structure has a significant positive moderating effect on agricultural carbon emission reduction in the process of RII. In the threshold analysis, it is found that the rural labor structure has a single threshold nonlinear effect, and the effect of RII on inhibited ACE is more pronounced when the level of labor structure is more than the threshold of 0.829. This conclusion not only contributes to understanding the relationship between the RII, urbanization, labor structure, and carbon emissions, but also provides substantial support for further promoting the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy and achieving the dual-carbon goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
14 pages, 1306 KiB  
Article
Assessing Ammonia and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Livestock Manure Storage: Comparison of Measurements with Dynamic and Static Chambers
by Martina Cattaneo, Carlota Tayà, Laura Burgos, Lluis Morey, Joan Noguerol, Giorgio Provolo, Míriam Cerrillo and August Bonmatí
Sustainability 2023, 15(22), 15987; https://doi.org/10.3390/su152215987 - 15 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Emission quantification from the agricultural sector, and especially from livestock manure management, is relevant for assessing mitigation strategies and for inventory purposes. There are different direct techniques used to monitor emissions from quiescent surfaces. Common techniques include the closed static chamber and the [...] Read more.
Emission quantification from the agricultural sector, and especially from livestock manure management, is relevant for assessing mitigation strategies and for inventory purposes. There are different direct techniques used to monitor emissions from quiescent surfaces. Common techniques include the closed static chamber and the open dynamic chamber. The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare different direct methods, two dynamic hoods and one static hood, for monitoring NH3 and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (N2O, CO2, and CH4) from different emission sources. These sources are ammonia solutions and different by-products of manure (compost, liquid fraction of digestate, and solid fraction of pig slurry). The use of dynamic hoods, despite their differences in size, operation, and applied air flux, presents comparable emission rates for all emissions and compounds assayed. These rates are always higher than those obtained using static hoods. Therefore, it can be concluded that the use of dynamic hoods is a valuable technique for refining the indirect estimation of emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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16 pages, 1896 KiB  
Article
Livelihoods and Perceptions of Climate Change among Dairy Farmers in the Andes: Implications for Climate Education
by Julio C. Vargas-Burgos, Marco Heredia-R, Yenny Torres, Laura Puhl, Biviana N. Heredia, Jhenny Cayambe, Julio Hernán-González, Alexandra Torres, Marcelo Luna, Theofilos Toulkeridis and Bolier Torres
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 13157; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151713157 - 1 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1295
Abstract
Climate change mainly affects the production and consumption systems associated with food, livelihoods, production (e.g., reduced milk production), water, and land use. The role of local knowledge is recognized as important for decision-making under changing circumstances. This study was conducted in the northern [...] Read more.
Climate change mainly affects the production and consumption systems associated with food, livelihoods, production (e.g., reduced milk production), water, and land use. The role of local knowledge is recognized as important for decision-making under changing circumstances. This study was conducted in the northern part of the Ecuadorian Andes using a sample of 170 dairy-cattle-farming households. The objectives were to: (i) characterize the rural livelihoods of dairy cattle farmers; (ii) evaluate access to climate information and perceptions of climate change; and (iii) determine the relationship between livelihoods and perceptions of climate change. Significant differences were identified between the groups evaluated in relation to the dairy farmers’ livelihoods. In addition, 85.29% of the respondents indicated that climate information is important, but 67.83% did not trust the sources of information. It was found that there is a significant relationship between the level of education and age with the variables of climate change perceptions. This combined knowledge will allow people to promote agri-environmental and educational policies to achieve climate literacy at a rural level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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24 pages, 5657 KiB  
Article
Assessing Impacts of Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) Change on Stream Flow and Runoff in Rur Basin, Germany
by Saurabh Shukla, Tesfa Worku Meshesha, Indra S. Sen, Roland Bol, Heye Bogena and Junye Wang
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9811; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129811 - 20 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
Understanding the impact of land use/land cover (LULC) change on hydrology is the key to sustainable water resource management. In this study, we used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate the impact of LULC change on the runoff in the [...] Read more.
Understanding the impact of land use/land cover (LULC) change on hydrology is the key to sustainable water resource management. In this study, we used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to evaluate the impact of LULC change on the runoff in the Rur basin, Germany. The SWAT model was calibrated against the observed data of stream flow and runoff at three sites (Stah, Linnich, and Monschau) between 2000 and 2010 and validated between 2011 and 2015. The performance of the hydrological model was assessed by using statistical parameters such as the coefficient of determination (R2), p-value, r-value, and percentage bias (PBAIS). Our analysis reveals that the average R2 values for model calibration and validation were 0.68 and 0.67 (n = 3), respectively. The impacts of three change scenarios on stream runoff were assessed by replacing the partial forest with urban settlements, agricultural land, and grasslands compared to the 2006 LULC map. The SWAT model captured, overall, the spatio-temporal patterns and effects of LULC change on the stream runoffs despite the heterogeneous runoff responses related to the variable impacts of the different LULC. The results show that LULC change from deciduous forest to urban settlements, agricultural land, or grasslands increased the overall basin runoff by 43%, 14%, and 4%, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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12 pages, 1734 KiB  
Article
Farmer Adoption of Climate-Smart Practices Is Driven by Farm Characteristics, Information Sources, and Practice Benefits and Challenges
by Devon Johnson, Maya Almaraz, Jessica Rudnick, Lauren E. Parker, Steven M. Ostoja and Sat Darshan S. Khalsa
Sustainability 2023, 15(10), 8083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15108083 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2751
Abstract
Agriculture plays an important role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Yet, advances in climate-smart agriculture require a better understanding of farmer adoption. This exploratory paper uncovered differences that distinguish High, Moderate, and Low adopters of climate-smart practices. Our study utilized 952 [...] Read more.
Agriculture plays an important role in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Yet, advances in climate-smart agriculture require a better understanding of farmer adoption. This exploratory paper uncovered differences that distinguish High, Moderate, and Low adopters of climate-smart practices. Our study utilized 952 in-person surveys of California farmers with a focus on mitigation and adaptation practices, along with farm characteristics, information sources, and practice benefits and challenges. Specifically, farmers with larger parcels were more likely to be High adopters, and farmers with access to only one water source were more likely to be Low adopters. There was no significant difference found between Moderate and High adopters’ use of any information sources. The ranking of different information sources changed between groups. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the rate of Moderate and High adopters’ consideration of practice benefits. All groups identified practice uncertainty as the greatest challenge, with a significant difference between Moderate and High adopters. Our results demonstrate where differences occur between farmer adopter groups and by extension provide insights into where to target outreach efforts to promote the adoption of climate-smart practices in California agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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13 pages, 1977 KiB  
Article
Technical Assistance Providers Identify Climate Change Adaptation Practices and Barriers to Adoption among California Agricultural Producers
by Devon Johnson, Lauren E. Parker, Tapan B. Pathak, Laura Crothers and Steven M. Ostoja
Sustainability 2023, 15(7), 5973; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15075973 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
Climate change will challenge California agriculture, requiring producers (i.e., farmers and ranchers) to adopt climate-adaptive management practices to sustain production. Agricultural technical assistance providers (TAPs) play a significant role in supporting producers’ efforts to adopt climate-smart management practices. It is therefore important to [...] Read more.
Climate change will challenge California agriculture, requiring producers (i.e., farmers and ranchers) to adopt climate-adaptive management practices to sustain production. Agricultural technical assistance providers (TAPs) play a significant role in supporting producers’ efforts to adopt climate-smart management practices. It is therefore important to understand current TAP perceptions of climate change, TAP recommendations for climate adaptation, and the barriers to adopting climate-smart practices. To understand these issues, we held four focus group discussions with small groups of TAPs from across the state and evaluated transcripts from the discussions to identify common themes and concepts. The TAPs that participated in the focus groups understood climate change and its impacts on California agriculture, with climate extremes and water-related issues being the most frequently cited climate-related challenges. Focus group discussions and subsequent evaluation revealed that while TAPs recommend science-backed practices for adapting California agriculture to climate change, producers may not be accepting of some recommendations. Critically, the TAP focus groups cited insufficient monetary support—both for themselves and for producers—and insufficient information and messaging around climate-adaptive practices as key barriers to practice adoption. This improved understanding of the intersection of TAPs’ work on climate change and climate adaptation in California agriculture is useful for the development of information and resources that can bridge these identified barriers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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12 pages, 1753 KiB  
Article
Integrating Field Data and a Modeling Approach to Inform Optimum Planting Date × Maturity Group for Soybeans under Current and Future Weather Conditions in Kansas
by Emmanuela van Versendaal, Ana J. P. Carcedo, Eric Adee, Gretchen Sassenrath, Scott Dooley, Jane Lingenfelser and Ignacio A. Ciampitti
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1081; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021081 - 6 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Optimizing planting date by maturity group (PD × MG) is critical to increase productivity and reduce production risks. Understanding the effect of management, not only under current, but also future weather conditions, is even more relevant for developing effective mitigation strategies. This paper [...] Read more.
Optimizing planting date by maturity group (PD × MG) is critical to increase productivity and reduce production risks. Understanding the effect of management, not only under current, but also future weather conditions, is even more relevant for developing effective mitigation strategies. This paper provides an analysis of the optimum combinations of soybean PD × MG management in the central-eastern region of Kansas (United States) for both current and future weather conditions. Three geographical clusters illustrating the main environmental and management characteristics were defined within the central-eastern region of Kansas. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator platform was employed to explore PD × MG combinations (PD from mid-April to mid-July; MG from III to VI) comparing current (2011–2021) and future (2042–2052) weather conditions. Overall, early planting dates produce greater yields, but reduce their stability over time (with a 15% increase in yield variation relative to late planting) across the clusters. Late planting dates resulted in a reduction close to 27% for soybean yields relative to those obtained by planting at early dates under current weather conditions. Furthermore, longer maturity groups (IV, V, and VI) resulted in a reduced yield penalty when planting time was delayed under the current weather conditions. However, this combination did not always represent the strategy that maximized yields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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Review

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14 pages, 1087 KiB  
Review
Plant Breeding to Mitigate Climate Change—Present Status and Opportunities with an Assessment of Winter Wheat Cultivation in Northern Europe as an Example
by Eva Johansson, Faraz Muneer and Thomas Prade
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12349; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612349 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
Crop yield has been a major target of plant breeding, although resistance and quality have also been important. The current climate change is calling for breeding actions to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The present review focuses on opportunities from plant breeding to [...] Read more.
Crop yield has been a major target of plant breeding, although resistance and quality have also been important. The current climate change is calling for breeding actions to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The present review focuses on opportunities from plant breeding to mitigate climate change while simultaneously securing yield and food requirements, as exemplified by winter wheat cultivation in Northern Europe. Therefore, we review the history of traditional plant breeding, the impact of climate change on crops and implications for plant breeding, opportunities to use plant breeding as a tool to mitigate climate change, and then we assess the estimated mitigation effects from plant breeding and discuss their impact on climate effects. Nitrogen uptake efficiency (NUpE) was indicated as the character with the highest potential to contribute to climate change mitigation, with positive effects also from increased straw length and stubble heights, while increased total biomass yield (root or above-ground) showed less effect. In addition to contributing to climate change mitigation, NUpE might increase profitability for growers and decrease nitrogen leakage from agricultural fields. An increase in NUpE by 15% through plant breeding has the potential to result in reduced GHG emissions corresponding to 30% of the fossil fuel use in agriculture in Sweden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Sustainable Agriculture)
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