Replacing (climate change threatened) maize systems with giant reed

Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a promising energy crop in temperate climates, but little is known about its response to climate change and extreme events. With focus on the Lombardy region of Italy, Cappelli et al. (2015) assessed the feasibility of a partial replacement of traditional maize-based cropping systems with this species for biogas production. Using dedicated process-based model and a set of climate scenarios, the authors concluded that future conditions are expected to be more favourable for giant reed. A partial shift to this species would not only be economically viable but also environmentally desirable. The study supports stakeholders in ensuring the resilience of maize sector.

Posted in Science briefs.