Addressing the threat of climate change to agriculture requires improving crop resilience to short-term abiotic stress

Andrew M. Beacham, Paul Hand, Guy C. Barker, Katherine J. Denby, Graham R. Teakle, Peter G. Walley, James M. Monaghan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Climate change represents a serious threat to global agriculture, necessitating the development of more environmentally resilient crops to safeguard the future of food production. The effects of climate change are appearing to include a higher frequency of extreme weather events and increased day-to-day weather variability. As such, crops which are able to cope with short-term environmental stress, in addition to those that are tolerant to longer term stress conditions are required . It is becoming apparent that the hitherto relatively little studied process of post-stress plant recovery could be key to optimizing growth and production under fluctuating conditions with intermittent transient stress events. Developing more durable crops requires the provision of genetic resources to identify useful traits through the development of screening protocols. Such traits can then become the objective of crop breeding programmes. In this study, we discuss these issues and outline example research in leafy vegetables that is investigating resilience to short-term abiotic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-276
Number of pages7
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Issue number4
Early online date25 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Institution ID: 10.13039/501100000277) under the Award ID: CH0105.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • Abiotic
  • Brassica oleracea
  • Climate
  • Lactuca sativa
  • Leafy vegetables
  • Lettuce
  • Recovery
  • Resilience
  • Spinach
  • Spinacia oleracea
  • Stress
  • Transient abiotic stress
  • Weather

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