Impact of Climate Change on Agroecosystems and Potential Adaptation Strategies
Agriculture is currently one of the leading economic sectors most impacted by climate change. Due to its great field of application and its susceptibility to meteorological variability, the effects of climate change on agriculture have significant social and economic consequences for human well-being. Moreover, the increasing need for land spaces for population growth has produced strong competition between food and urbanization, leading to a loss of the agroecosystem that supports food security.
This review aims to understand the main risks generated by climate change in agricultural production and the potential strategies that can be applied to increase agriculture’s resilience. Agricultural risk can be linked to the decrease in the productivity of foods, weed overgrowth at the crops expense, increase in parasites, water availability, soil alteration, negative impact on production costs and consequent change in the adopted cultivars, reduction in the pollination process, intense fires, and alteration of product quality. Thus, climate change can impact the provisioning of ecosystem services, reducing food security in terms of quantity and quality for future generations.
Finally, in this review, we report the main adaptation strategies to increase agroecosystem resilience in adverse environments generated by climate change. Mainly, we highlight new technologies, such as new breeding technologies and agrivoltaic and smart agricultural applications, which, combined with agroecosystems, can reduce the agricultural risks following climate change (for example, drought events and low availability of water).
We suggest that the combination of natural capital and technologies can be defined as an “innovation-based solution” able to support and increase ecosystem service flow in agroecosystems.