Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Feedbacks on Crop Yields under Climate Change

B Basso, B Dumont, B Maestrini, I. Shcherbak, G.P. Robertson, J.R. Porter, P. Smith, K. Paustian, P.R. Grace, S. Asseng, S. Bassu, C. Biernath, K.J. Boote, D. Cammarano, G. de Sanctis, J.-L. Durand, F. Ewert, S. Gayler, R Grant, D.W. HyndmanJ Kent, P Martre, C. Nendel, E. Priesack, D. Ripoche, A.C. Ruane, J. Sharp, P.J. Thorburn, J.L. Hatfield, J.W. Jones, C. Rosenzweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


A critical omission from climate change impact studies on crop yield is the interaction between soil organic carbon (SOC), nitrogen (N) availability, and carbon dioxide (CO2). We used a multimodel ensemble to predict the effects of SOC and N under different scenarios of temperatures and CO2 concentrations on maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield in eight sites across the world. We found that including feedbacks from SOC and N losses due to increased temperatures would reduce yields by 13% in wheat and 19% in maize for a 3°C rise temperature with no adaptation practices. These losses correspond to an additional 4.5% (+3°C) when compared to crop yield reductions attributed to temperature increase alone. Future CO2 increase to 540 ppm would partially compensate losses by 80% for both maize and wheat at +3°C, and by 35% for wheat and 20% for maize at +6°C, relative to the baseline CO2 scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Article number180026
JournalAgricultural & Environmental Letters
Issue number1
Early online date24 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Articles in A&EL are published under the CC-BY NC ND (non-commercial; no derivatives) license ( Users are free to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. Any further publication of the article will require proper attribution; no derivative works may be made from this article; and the article may not be used for any commercial gain ( The author is given explicit permission to publish the final article in her/his institutional repository. There is an option for the CC-BY license if required by an author's institution.


Dive into the research topics of 'Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Feedbacks on Crop Yields under Climate Change'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this