Climate-driven changes of production regions in Central Europe
M. Trnka, J. Eitzinger, P. Hlavinka, M. Dubrovský, D. Semerádová, P. Štěpánek, S. Thaler, Z. Žalud, M. Možný, H. Formayerhttps://doi.org/10.17221/1017-PSECitation:Trnka M., Eitzinger J., Hlavinka P., Dubrovský M., Semerádová D., Štěpánek P., Thaler S., Žalud Z., Možný M., Formayer H. (2009): Climate-driven changes of production regions in Central Europe. Plant Soil Environ., 55: 257-266.
The presented work complements studies on agroclimatic zoning that were performed during 19th and 20th century in the Czech Republic and Austria and allows estimating the effect of climate change on the spatial distribution of agroclimatic conditions within both countries. The main conclusions of the study are: (1) The combination of increased air temperature and changes in the amount and distribution of precipitation will lead to significant shifts in the agroclimatic zones by the 2020’s. The current most productive areas will be reduced and replaced by warmer but drier conditions, which are considered less suitable for rainfed farming. (2) While trends in the changes expected in lowlands are mostly negative (especially for non-irrigated crops), higher elevations might experience improvement in their agroclimatic production potential. However, the production potential of these regions is usually limited by other factors such as the soil quality and terrain accessibility. Additionally, these positive effects might be shortlived, as by the 2050’s, even the areas in higher altitudes might experience much drier conditions than nowadays. (3) Dairy-oriented agriculture (based on permanent grassland production) at higher altitudes could suffer through an increased evapotranspiration demand combined with a decrease in precipitation, leading to higher water deficits and yield variations. (4) All above listed changes will most likely occur within less than four decades. The rate of change might be so high that the concept of agroclimatic zoning itself might lose its relevance due to the perpetual change.Keywords:climate change; agroclimatic zoning; water deficit; growing season; AgriClim