SUSCAP: Developing resilience and tolerance of crop resource use efficiency to climate change and air pollution

The SUSCAP project is investigating how climate change and air pollution impact crop growth, development and yield in Europe with the aim of increasing the sustainability of agriculture and reduction in the threats to crop resources use efficiency.

Image missing description

Photo by Johny Goerend on Unsplash

Project details

Start and end date
1.3.2019 - 31.3.2023 (project has ended)
ERA-Net Co-fund Action under EU Horizon 2020

Climate change will impact arable crop production in the coming decades and air pollution is already having substantial impacts on crop productivity causing significant yield losses across Europe. In spite of international efforts to reduce emissions, poor air quality in Europe is currently set to continue until at least 2050 and greenhouse gas emissions are still on course to see large changes in climate over the coming decades.

The SUSCAP project investigates how these stresses will combine to impact crop growth, development and yield through influences on important crop resource use efficiencies such as radiation, water and nutrient use. We will develop a new generation of process based crop models to better understand the mechanisms, and hence impacts, of these multiple stresses both for the current day and future 2050 climates.

This will allow us to identify the magnitude, frequency and geographical distribution of the combined stresses most likely to limit resource use efficiency and hence crop productivity.

This project focuses on four goals.

  1. To define which multi-stress combinations (e.g. pollution (aerosol and ozone), drought, high temperatures, low soil fertility) are most likely to adversely affect crop resource use efficiency and ultimately crop growth, development and yield.
  2. To describe the frequency, magnitude and geographical distribution of the most damaging of these multi-stress combinations and where they are most likely to occur across Europe both for the current day as well as the future (2050).
  3. To use this information to identify new plant traits that could be bred for, and new crop management practices that could be employed by farmers, to help adapt to the stresses resulting from air pollution and climate change conditions.
  4. In partnership with a variety of stakeholders, we want to identify appropriate, realistic and feasible solutions for remediation of the stresses. 

SUSCAP is one of 13 projects of SusCrop, an ERA-Net Co-fund Action under the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, which aims to strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) in the field of Sustainable Crop Production through enhanced cooperation and coordination of different national and regional research programmes.

SUSCAP is a follow-up of the CiXPAG project.

The project is coordinated by 
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) York, UK

CICERO Center for International Climate Research, Norway
JRC, Directorate Sustainable Resources, Italy
University of Bonn, Germany
CREA, Italy
AFAHC, Romania
National Meteorolgical Administration Climatology, Romania