Scots scientists to spearhead urgent EU research into how climate change is impacting our ability to grow crops

  • A Scottish scientist is to co-lead an elite project group of 22 European partners, looking to create resilient crops for the future
  • Yield is projected to plummet by a third due to extremes in temperatures and greater variation in rainfall patterns impacting on soil and the type of crops which can be grown

Dr Tim George, a Rhizophere Scientist at the James Hutton Institute, based at the Invergowrie site near Dundee; is joined on the five-year, 9m euro project– called ‘Root2Res’ – by top soil scientists from the University of Dundee and 20 other organisations from across the European Union (EU) and Africa.

The project, led scientifically by the Institute and France’s ARVALIS, an agricultural research organisation dedicated to arable crops; is funded by the EU’s flagship research program, Horizon Europe. It will look to address the climate resilience of soil in combatting rising temperatures and greater variability in rainfall which in turn place stress on crops. Work will also include research into improving soil nutrient availability and cutting the greenhouse gases being emitted from soil.

The group- which meets for the first-time next month – will work with crop breeders and farmers from areas in Europe who are under the greatest pressure from climate change induced stress. Investigations will focus on a range of cereal, tuber, beans and peas commonly grown in rotations in Europe.

Dr Tim George, lead scientist on the Root2Res programme said: “There is both a soil and crop crisis developing in Europe. In 20 years’ time, we will need to have more resilient crops which can tolerate extreme temperatures, more variable rainfall and be able to grow in more marginal soil conditions. Managing the interface between the soil and the plant is where the real battle against climate change is going to play out. I am delighted to be selected to play a major role in such a vital and urgent project which is a real coup for the Institute.”


About Author

Comments are closed.