Climate change and potato cropping in the Peruvian Altiplano

Année de publication



Theoretical and Applied Climatology 2013 112 683 695 3-4


Abstract: The potential impacts of climate change on potatoes cropping in the Peruvian highlands (Altiplano) is assessed using climate projections for 2071–2100, obtained from the HadRM3P regional atmospheric model of the Hadley Centre. The atmospheric model is run under two different special report on emission scenarios: high CO2 concentration (A2) and moderate CO2 concentration (B2) for four locations situated in the surroundings of Lake Titicaca. The two main varieties of potato cultivated in the area are studied: the Andean potato (Solanum tuberosum) and the bitter potato (Solanum juzepczukii). A simple process-oriented model is used to quantify the climatic impacts on crops cycles and yields by combining the effects of temperature on phenology, of radiation and CO2 on maximum yield and of water balance on yield deficit. In future climates, air temperature systematically increases, precipitation tends to increase at the beginning of the rainy season and slightly decreases during the rest of the season. The direct effects of these climatic changes are earlier planting dates, less planting failures and shorter crop cycles in all the four locations and for both scenarios. Consequently, the harvesting dates occur systematically earlier: roughly in January for the Andean potato instead of March in the current situation and in February for the bitter potato instead of April. Overall, yield deficits will be higher under climate change than in the current climate. There will be a strong negative impact on yields for S. tuberosum (stronger under A2 scenario than under B2); the impact on S. juzepczukii yields, however, appears to be relatively mixed and not so negative.

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