Systemic adaptations to climate change in southern Australian grasslands and livestock: production, profitability, methane emission and ecosystem function

Ghahramani, Afshin and Moore, Andrew D. (2015) Systemic adaptations to climate change in southern Australian grasslands and livestock: production, profitability, methane emission and ecosystem function. Agricultural Systems, 133. pp. 158-166. ISSN 0308-521X

Abstract

The annual net primary production (ANPP) of temperate grasslands and production of livestock industries
is predicted to decrease in southern Australia with future climate change. By using biophysical
modelling, we address productivity and profitability of grazing systems while considering systemic combination
of grassland management and animal genetic improvement options. Single incremental adaptations
will not completely avert declines in productivity and profitability; hence, combinations of adaptations
are needed. The synergistic effects of these adaptations could potentially offset decreasing production
and profit in 2030 over the majority of southern Australia, but not in some drier regions after 2030. These
results demonstrate the need for changes in strategies over time with greater complexity of adaptations
in drier regions. Upscaling over all southern Australia, financially optimal systemic combination
(fully enhanced systems) could increase profit by 68.61%, 68.63% and 50.81% in 2030, 2050, and 2070,
compared to the production of the historical period with current farm system management. Financiallymotivated
changes to grazing systems will result in improvement in grassland health, soil environment,
and water use efficiency. However, full adaption of systemic adaptation will lead to greater ruminant CH4
emission from 70 kg ha−1 yr−1 in baseline (1970–1999) to 84, 83, and 75 kg ha−1 yr−1 in 2030, 2050, and
2070. Higher rates of CH4 emissions may affect profitability depending on future emissions pricing. In
most of the drier regions, greater input intensity and management complexity may be required which
requirement is likely to increase over time. However some of the drier regions would still require transformative
adaptations.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy oft he publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 02:59
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2017 06:55
Uncontrolled Keywords: agro-ecosystem, ANPP, soil environment, intensification, modeling, adaptation-mitigation tradeoffs
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070107 Farming Systems Research
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2014.11.003
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/29884

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