Crop management as an agricultural adaptation to climate change in early modern era: A comparative study of eastern and western Europe

Qing PEI, David D. ZHANG, Harry F. LEE, Guodong LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Effective adaptation determines agricultural vulnerability to climate change, especially in the pre-industrial era. Crop management as an agricultural adaptation to climate change in recent human history, however, has rarely been systematically evaluated. Using Europe as our study area, we statistically compared yield ratio of wheat, rye, barley, and oats (an important performance indicator of an agrarian economy) between Eastern and Western Europe in AD 1500–1800. In particular, a statistical comparison was made of crop yield ratio in the two regions during the warm agricultural recovery period AD 1700–1800. The general trend of crop yield in Eastern and Western Europe basically followed the alternation of climatic epochs, in which the extreme cooling period in AD 1560–1660 drastically reduced the crop yield ratio. The yield ratio of rye in Eastern and Western Europe was very similar throughout the entire study period. However, the yield ratio of wheat, barley, and oats showed different patterns in the two regions and increased drastically in Western Europe in the warm agricultural recovery period, which might have contributed to rapid socio-economic development in Western Europe and eventually the East–West Divide in Europe in the following centuries. Copyright © 2016 by the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalAgriculture
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Pei, Q., Zhang, D. D., Lee, H. F., & Li, G. (2016, September). Crop management as an agricultural adaptation to climate change in early modern era: A comparative study of eastern and western Europe. Agriculture, 6(3). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6030029

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Crop yield ratio
  • Non-parametric analysis
  • Eastern and Western Europe
  • Early modern era

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