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Influence of management and environment on Australian wheat: information for sustainable intensification and closing yield gaps

Bryan, BA, King, D and Zhao, G 2014, Influence of management and environment on Australian wheat: information for sustainable intensification and closing yield gaps, Environmental research letters, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/044005.

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Title Influence of management and environment on Australian wheat: information for sustainable intensification and closing yield gaps
Author(s) Bryan, BAORCID iD for Bryan, BA orcid.org/0000-0003-4834-5641
King, D
Zhao, G
Journal name Environmental research letters
Volume number 9
Issue number 4
Article ID 044005
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher IOP Publishing
Place of publication Bristol, Eng.
Publication date 2014-04-09
ISSN 1748-9326
Keyword(s) yield gap
land sparing
sustainable intensification
APSIM
crop model
ecosystem services
food security
science and technology
life sciences and biomedicine
physical sciences
environmental sciences
Summary In the future, agriculture will need to produce more, from less land, more sustainably. But currently, in many places, actual crop yields are below those attainable. We quantified the ability for agricultural management to increase wheat yields across 179 Mha of potentially arable land in Australia. Using the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM), we simulated the impact on wheat yield of 225 fertilization and residue management scenarios at a high spatial, temporal, and agronomic resolution from 1900 to 2010. The influence of management and environmental variables on wheat yield was then assessed using Spearman's non-parametric correlation test with bootstrapping. While residue management showed little correlation, fertilization strongly increased wheat yield up to around 100 kg N ha−1 yr−1. However, this effect was highly dependent on the key environment variables of rainfall, temperature, and soil water holding capacity. The influence of fertilization on yield was stronger in cooler, wetter climates, and in soils with greater water holding capacity. We conclude that the effectiveness of management intensification to increase wheat yield is highly dependent upon local climate and soil conditions. We provide context-specific information on the yield benefits of fertilization to support adaptive agronomic decision-making and contribute to the closure of yield gaps. We also suggest that future assessments consider the economic and environmental sustainability of management intensification for closing yield gaps.
Language eng
DOI 10.1088/1748-9326/9/4/044005
Field of Research 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
050206 Environmental Monitoring
050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, IOP Publishing
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30102057

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.