Article open access publication

Climate change impact and adaptation for wheat protein

Global Change Biology, Wiley, ISSN 1365-2486

Volume 25, 1, 2018

DOI:10.1111/gcb.14481, Dimensions: pub.1110098084, PMID: 30549200,


Ahmed, Mukhtar (13) (14)
Balkovič, Juraj (15) (16)
Liu, Bing (1) (32)
Porter, John R. (34) (36) (37)
Tao, Fu-Lu (41) (42)
Webber, Heidi A (25) (31)
Zhao, Zhigan (45) (47)
Zhu, Yan (32)
Ewert, Frank (25) (31)



  1. (1) University of Florida, grid.15276.37
  2. (2) Laboratoire d'Écophysiologie Moléculaire des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux, grid.503314.0
  3. (3) University of Göttingen, grid.7450.6
  4. (4) Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources, grid.468062.e
  5. (5) University of Melbourne, grid.1008.9
  6. (6) University of Clermont Auvergne, grid.494717.8
  7. (7) University of Sassari, grid.11450.31
  8. (8) International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, grid.433436.5
  9. (9) Agricultural Research Center, grid.418376.f
  10. (10) CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  11. (11) Goddard Institute for Space Studies, grid.419078.3
  12. (12) CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, BISA‐CIMMYT, New Delhi, India
  13. (13) Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, grid.440552.2
  14. (14) Washington State University, grid.30064.31
  15. (15) Comenius University, grid.7634.6
  16. (16) International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, grid.75276.31
  17. (17) Michigan State University, grid.17088.36
  18. (18) Institute of Biochemical Plant Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany
  19. (19) University of Florence, grid.8404.8
  20. (20) James Hutton Institute, grid.43641.34
  21. (21) Collaborative Research Program from CGIAR and Future Earth on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia
  22. (22) University of Leeds, grid.9909.9
  23. (23) European Food Safety Authority, grid.483440.f
  24. (24) Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, grid.410510.1
  25. (25) University of Bonn, grid.10388.32
  26. (26) University of Córdoba, grid.411901.c
  27. (27) University of Hohenheim, grid.9464.f
  28. (28) Texas A&M University, grid.264756.4
  29. (29) University of Maryland, College Park, grid.164295.d
  30. (30) Aarhus University, grid.7048.b, AU
  31. (31) Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, grid.433014.1
  32. (32) Nanjing Agricultural University, grid.27871.3b
  33. (33) Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, grid.4556.2
  34. (34) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  35. (35) Indian Agricultural Research Institute, grid.418196.3
  36. (36) University of Montpellier, grid.121334.6
  37. (37) Lincoln University, grid.16488.33
  38. (38) National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, grid.507621.7
  39. (39) Rothamsted Research, grid.418374.d
  40. (40) Wageningen University & Research, grid.4818.5
  41. (41) Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, grid.424975.9
  42. (42) Natural Resources Institute Finland, grid.22642.30
  43. (43) Joint Research Centre, grid.434554.7
  44. (44) INRA UMR AGIR, Castanet‐Tolosan, France
  45. (45) Agriculture and Food, grid.493032.f
  46. (46) Beijing Normal University, grid.20513.35
  47. (47) China Agricultural University, grid.22935.3f


Wheat grain protein concentration is an important determinant of wheat quality for human nutrition that is often overlooked in efforts to improve crop production. We tested and applied a 32-multi-model ensemble to simulate global wheat yield and quality in a changing climate. Potential benefits of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2050 on global wheat grain and protein yield are likely to be negated by impacts from rising temperature and changes in rainfall, but with considerable disparities between regions. Grain and protein yields are expected to be lower and more variable in most low-rainfall regions, with nitrogen availability limiting growth stimulus from elevated CO2 . Introducing genotypes adapted to warmer temperatures (and also considering changes in CO2 and rainfall) could boost global wheat yield by 7% and protein yield by 2%, but grain protein concentration would be reduced by -1.1 percentage points, representing a relative change of -8.6%. Climate change adaptations that benefit grain yield are not always positive for grain quality, putting additional pressure on global wheat production.


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