Water use efficiency across scales: from genes to landscapes

Vadez, V and Pilloni, R and Grondin, A and Hajjarpoor, A and Belhouchette, H and Brouziyne, Y and Chehbouni, G and Kharrou, M H and Zitouna-Chebbi, R and Mekki, I and Molénat, J and Jacob, F and Bossuet, J (2023) Water use efficiency across scales: from genes to landscapes. Journal of Experimental Botany, 74 (16). pp. 4770-4788. ISSN 1460-2431

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Water scarcity is already set to be one of the main issues of the 21st century, because of competing needs between civil, industrial, and agricultural use. Agriculture is currently the largest user of water, but its share is bound to decrease as societies develop and clearly it needs to become more water efficient. Improving water use efficiency (WUE) at the plant level is important, but translating this at the farm/landscape level presents considerable challenges. As we move up from the scale of cells, organs, and plants to more integrated scales such as plots, fields, farm systems, and landscapes, other factors such as trade-offs need to be considered to try to improve WUE. These include choices of crop variety/species, farm management practices, landscape design, infrastructure development, and ecosystem functions, where human decisions matter. This review is a cross-disciplinary attempt to analyse approaches to addressing WUE at these different scales, including definitions of the metrics of analysis and consideration of trade-offs. The equations we present in this perspectives paper use similar metrics across scales to make them easier to connect and are developed to highlight which levers, at different scales, can improve WUE. We also refer to models operating at these different scales to assess WUE. While our entry point is plants and crops, we scale up the analysis of WUE to farm systems and landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Global Research Program - Accelerated Crop Improvement
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change, crop breeding, drought, farming systems, food security, landscape, water use efficiency, WUE
Subjects: Others > Cropping and Farming Systems
Others > Drought
Others > Climate Change
Others > Food Security
Depositing User: Mr Nagaraju T
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2024 06:17
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2024 06:17
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/12500
Official URL: https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article/74/16/4770/70...
Acknowledgement: The paper was written and supported under the Make Our Planet Great Again (MOPGA) ICARUS project (Improve Crops in Arid Regions and Future Climates), and written within the scope and with the support of the ClimBeR initiative of CGIAR, itself supported by the FranceCGIAR Action Plan on Climate Change.
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