Study finds climate change will have little effect on breadfruit cultivation

Facial area to climate change, the suffering tree could soon arrive on a plate near you.

While researchers predict that climate change will have a negative effect on most foundation crops, including rice, corn and soy, a new study by the Northwestern College reveals that the Bread tree – a starchy fruit native to the Pacific Islands – will not be relatively assigned.

because the bread tree is resistant to the planned climate change and particularly well suited to Tradition in regions experiencing high levels of food insecurity, the Northwestern team thinks that the Tree at Discomfort could be part of the Answer to the worsening of the world’s hunger crisis.

The study will be published on 17 August in the review Plos Climate.

“The suffering tree is a neglected and underutilized species Which proves to be relatively resistant in our climate change projections, ”said Daniel Horton de Northwestern, the main study of the study. “It’s good news because several other staples we rely on aren’t as resilient.” In very hot circumstances, some of these foundation cultures have trouble and yields decrease. While we implement climate change adaptation strategies, the bread tree must be taken into account in food security. coping strategies.

Horton is a deputy professor of earth sciences and planets at the Weinberg Higher Education of Arts and Sciences of Northwestern, where he heads the research group on climate change. Lucy Yang, former student of the Horton laboratory, is the first author of the article. For this study, Horton and Yang collaborated with the expert in bread fruit Nyree Zereega, director of the plant biology and conservation program, a partnership between Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Backyard Garden.

Although it has “fruit” in its name, the tree with suffering is starchy and without seeds, playing a culinary role in addition like a potato. Closely linked to the Jacquier, this food rich in nutrients is rich in fibers, vitamins and minerals. In the tropical regions of the world, people eat fruit in Ac Ac for thousands of years, whether steamed, roasted, fried or fermented. The discomfort tree can also be processed into flour, in order to extend its shelf life and be exported.

“Agony trees can live for decades and provide a large amount of fruit each year,” Zerega said. “In some cultures, there is a custom to plant a tree at the birth of a child to ensure that the child will have food for the rest of his life.”

But as the tropical regions become additional in hot and humid as well as, Yang, Horton and Zerega wanted to see if climate change would affect the growth capacity of the Agony.

To conduct the study, the researchers first determined the climatic conditions required to grow the ache tree. Then they examined how these problems should change in the future (between 2060 and 2080). For future climatic projections, they examined two scenarios: an improbable scenario that reflects high greenhouse gas emissions and an additional scenario possible in which the programs stabilize.

In both scenarios, areas suitable for soreness tree life remained mostly untouched. In the tropics and subtropics, the area suitable for the cultivation of the ache tree has decreased by a modest 4.4 to 4.5%. The researchers also found an appropriate territory where the cultivation of agony trees could develop, especially in sub -Saharan Africa, where the trees in Soreness are not traditionally cultivated but could provide a significant and stable food.

“Despite the fact that the climate will radically change in the tropics, the climate should not move outside the window where the bread tree is comfortable,” said Yang. “From a climate view course, we can already cultivate the tree in Soreness in sub -Saharan Africa. There is a large expanse of Africa, where the Soreness tree can push to various degrees. It just hasn’t been widely introduced there yet. And, fortunately, most varieties of the bread tree are seedless and have little or no chance of becoming invasive. »

according to Zerega, once established, a soreness tree can resist the Heat and drought in a long time in addition to other cultures of foundation. But the benefits don’t stop there. Because it is a lasting tradition, it also requires less energy (including water and fertilizers) than the cultures which must be replanted each year and, like the other trees, it sequests the Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere throughout the life of the tree.

“many places where the bread tree can grow have high levels of insecurity food,” Yang said. “Often, they fight food insecurity by important foundation crops such as wheat or rice, which is accompanied by an environmental cost and a high carbon footprint. With the bread tree, however, these communities can produce food Furthermore locally.

while climate change, the pandemic of Covid-19 and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia exacerbates global food insecurity, the northwest team thinks that the manufacturing of trees in Agony and other neglected foods and underused could be intensified to strengthen the resilience of the global food system, while strengthening the biodiversity of food creation.

“Climate change accentuates the need to diversify the agriculture, so that the world does not depend on a small number of cultivated species to feed a large number of people,” said Zerega. “Humans depend strongly on a handful of crops to provide most of our food, but there are thousands of potential food crops among the 400 17 plant species described. This highlights the need to diversify agriculture and crops globally.”

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