Simulation of the effects of climate change on forage and cattle production in Saskatchewan
Multiple global climate models suggest that the Canadian Prairies will experience temperature increases due to climate warming. This could influence pasture and grazing production. Three climate scenarios CGCM2 A21, CSIROMk2 B11 and HadCM3 A21 were used to predict daily weather data to 2099 and incorporated into the GrassGro decision support tool to project pastoral production during 30-year increments, 2010 to 2099. Simulations were compared with the World Meterological Organization baseline years, 1961-1990 at two sites (Saskatoon and Melfort) and two soil textures (loam topsoil / loam subsoil and sandy-loam / sandy-clay-loam). Two tame grasses [crested wheatgrass (CWG; Agropyron cristatum) and hybrid bromegrass (HBG; Bromus inermis x Bromus riparius) and a mixed native pasture (Festuca hallii; Elymus lanceolatus; Pascopyrum smithii; Nassella viridula) were studied at each location. Soil moisture was greater for loam/loam than sandy-loam/sandy-clay-loam resulting in more plant available moisture in all climate scenarios at both locations. However, plant available moisture alone was unable to explain changes in pasture dry matter (DM) production. The results projected from CGCM2 A21 were more favorable to plant and livestock production than those of CSIROMk2 B11 and HadCM3 A21. CGCM2 A21 simulated increases in mean DM production of HBG at both locations during spring each 30-yr period (P
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
DepartmentAnimal and Poultry Science
ProgramAnimal and Poultry Science
SupervisorCohen, Roger D. H.
CommitteeStevens, J. P.; McGinn, S. M.; Laarveld, Bernard; Anderson, Darwin W.; Wheaton, Elaine E.
global climate models