Agriculture articles within Nature Communications

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  • Article
    | Open Access

    While accounting for intrinsic differences between short- and long-lived greenhouse gases, solely relying on soil carbon sequestration in grasslands to offset warming effect of emissions from current ruminant systems is not feasible

    • Yue Wang
    • , Imke J. M. de Boer
    •  & Corina E. van Middelaar
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Weak adhesion is a common hindrance to efficient utilization of pesticides in agricultural applications. Here, authors demonstrate leaf-adhesive tebuconazole nanopesticides which can be water-dispersed via flash nanoprecipitation using temperature-responsive copolymers PDMAEMA-b-PCL as the carrier.

    • Jie Tang
    • , Xiaojing Tong
    •  & Yisheng Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Food production, especially of animal products, is a major source of air pollutants. Here, the authors quantify the impacts dietary changes towards more plant-based diets could have for air quality, labour productivity, and human health.

    • Marco Springmann
    • , Rita Van Dingenen
    •  & Adrian Leip
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rps genes are used to manage the major soybean pathogen Phytophthora sojae, which causes Phytophthora stem and root rot (PRR). Here, the authors show that widely used Rps genes are no longer effective for managing PRR in the United States, Canada and Argentina.

    • Austin G. McCoy
    • , Richard R. Belanger
    •  & Martin I. Chilvers
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Earthworms contribute to plant growth. Here, Fonte et al. conduct a global meta-analysis and estimate that earthworms contribute to roughly 6.5% of global grain (maize, rice, wheat, barley) production and 2.3% of legume yields, equivalent to over 140 million metric tons annually.

    • Steven J. Fonte
    • , Marian Hsieh
    •  & Nathaniel D. Mueller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The adoption of climate-resilient crop varieties has the potential to build farmers’ climate resilience. Here, the authors show that adoption of climate-resilient groundnut varieties in West Africa benefits all households, with the biggest gains accruing to small-scale farmers.

    • Martin Paul Jr Tabe-Ojong
    • , Jourdain C. Lokossou
    •  & Hippolyte D. Affognon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using two different mass spectrometric platforms, authors demonstrate how metabolomic data fusion and multivariate analysis can be used to accurately identify the geographic origin and production method of salmon.

    • Yunhe Hong
    • , Nicholas Birse
    •  & Christopher T. Elliott
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Population growth in China has increased the demand for food. Combining data-driven projections with field experiments, Luo et al. find that China can achieve self-sufficiency in maize production by 2030 implementation of optimal planting density and management without expanding cropping areas.

    • Ning Luo
    • , Qingfeng Meng
    •  & Pu Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lablab is a legume native to Africa and cultivated throughout the tropics for food and forage; however, as an orphan crop, limited genomic resources hampers its genetic improvement. Here, an African-led South-North plant genome collaboration produces an improved genome assembly and population genomic resource to accelerate its breeding.

    • Isaac Njaci
    • , Bernice Waweru
    •  & Chris S. Jones
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Availability of modern seed varieties in developing countries has had positive effects on households’ well-being. Here, the authors show that without support to maintain soil fertility, access to modern seed varieties increases primary forest clearance in DR Congo.

    • Tanguy Bernard
    • , Sylvie Lambert
    •  & Margaux Vinez
  • Comment
    | Open Access

    The rapid expansion and globalization of the seaweed production industry, combined with rising seawater temperatures and coastal eutrophication, has led to an increase in infectious diseases and pest outbreaks. Here, we propose a novel Progressive Management Pathway for improving Seaweed Biosecurity.

    • Elizabeth J. Cottier-Cook
    • , Jennefe P. Cabarubias
    •  & Melba G. Bondad-Reantaso
  • Article
    | Open Access

    We quantify the air quality and health impacts of Indian crop residue burning and trace these impacts back to individual burning events by hour and district. We find that small interventions, such as burning one hour earlier in the day, may provide broad public health benefits

    • Ruoyu Lan
    • , Sebastian D. Eastham
    •  & Steven R. H. Barrett
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wheat breeding programmes improve yield by enhancing biotic and abiotic stress resistance. This study reveals that high temperature extremes adversely affect the productivity of new elite wheat breeding lines, and that future yield gains may be outpaced by the rapid advance of climate change.

    • Tianyi Zhang
    • , Yong He
    •  & Xiaoguang Yang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    This research quantifies the role of zero deforestation policies and potential leakages in Brazilian soybean production, the third major driver of deforestation globally. Here the authors provide the first estimates of net global avoided soy-driven deforestation from zero-deforestation import restrictions and find that such restrictions could help avoid ~40% of deforestation for soy cultivation in Brazil and ~2% of global deforestation.

    • Nelson Villoria
    • , Rachael Garrett
    •  & Kimberly Carlson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding emissions flow with trade matters for climate action. Trade-adjusted emission accounting would close the carbon loophole generated by trade for more effective climate action targeted at producers, consumers, and intermediary traders

    • Adrian Foong
    • , Prajal Pradhan
    •  & Jürgen P. Kropp
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Flash droughts can have devastating impacts but are notoriously difficult to predict. This study identifies global hotspots of flash drought, driven by evaporative demand and precipitation deficits across varying geographic regions and crop-type, providing a framework for flash drought prediction.

    • Jordan I. Christian
    • , Jeffrey B. Basara
    •  & Robb M. Randall
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Spectral screening can be used to monitor plant health. Here via airborne hyperspectral imaging of tree species, the authors show that spectral pathways associated with vascular pathogens can be distinguished from those linked to abiotic stress providing the potential for early detection of threatening diseases.

    • P. J. Zarco-Tejada
    • , T. Poblete
    •  & J. A. Navas-Cortes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global demand for “blue food” is growing. In this quantitative synthesis, the authors analyse global seafood demand and project trends to 2050, finding considerable regional variation in the relationship between wealth and consumption.

    • Rosamond L. Naylor
    • , Avinash Kishore
    •  & Beatrice Crona
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Crop diversification could be important for food security. Here, using methods from network science, the authors find that a positive relationship between crop diversity and nutritional stability globally does not necessarily equate to improving nutritional stability in a given country.

    • Charlie C. Nicholson
    • , Benjamin F. Emery
    •  & Meredith T. Niles
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In chocolate production, a complicated tempering process is used to guide the crystallization of cocoa butter towards its most desirable polymorph, which gives the chocolate proper melting behavior, gloss, and snap—hallmarks of good quality chocolate. Here, the authors find that simply adding a specific phospholipid also directs crystallization towards this polymorph, producing chocolate with comparable microstructure and properties to tempered chocolate.

    • Jay Chen
    • , Saeed M. Ghazani
    •  & Alejandro G. Marangoni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    European Union’s vulnerability to climate change stretches far beyond its borders. Here the authors find that more than 44% of the EU agricultural imports will become highly vulnerable to drought in future because of climate change.

    • Ertug Ercin
    • , Ted I. E. Veldkamp
    •  & Johannes Hunink
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Yellow fever virus (YFV) is an arbovirus affecting humans and non-human primates (NHPs) with seasonal transmission. Here Hamlet et al. model the monthly occurrence of YF in humans and NHPs across Brazil and show that seasonality of agriculture is an important predictor of seasonal YF transmission.

    • Arran Hamlet
    • , Daniel Garkauskas Ramos
    •  & Neil M. Ferguson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    China has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. Here the authors find a promising option to abate 1.0 Gt CO2-eq yr1 of carbon emissions at a marginal cost of $69 (t CO2-eq)−1 by retrofitting 222 GW of coal power plants to co-fire with biomass and upgrading to CCS operation across 2836 counties in China.

    • Xiaofan Xing
    • , Rong Wang
    •  & Siqing Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Quantifying land use change is critical in tackling global challenges related to food, climate and biodiversity. Here the authors show that land use change has affected 32 % of the global land area in six decades (1960- 2019) by combining multiple open datasets to create the HIstoric Land Dynamics Assessment +.

    • Karina Winkler
    • , Richard Fuchs
    •  & Martin Herold
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural sectors receive US$600 billion per year in government support, providing incentives for GHG emission-intensive production. Here, the authors show that removing this support will not reduce global GHG emissions by much; rather it will need to be radically redirected to contribute to climate change mitigation.

    • David Laborde
    • , Abdullah Mamun
    •  & Rob Vos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions not only amplify the global climate crisis, but cause damage currently unaccounted for by food prices. Here the authors show the calculation of prices with internalized climate costs for food categories and production systems, revealing strong market distortions.

    • Maximilian Pieper
    • , Amelie Michalke
    •  & Tobias Gaugler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Long-term dynamics of species’ range sizes play a crucial role in determining extinction risks. Here the authors simulate global vegetation cover and scenarios of anthropogenic land cover change to estimate habitat range sizes of thousands of mammal, bird, and amphibian species since 1700, and project trajectories up to 2100 under four emission scenarios and five socio-economic pathways.

    • Robert M. Beyer
    •  & Andrea Manica
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fraudulent adulteration of edible oils is based on the fact that their characteristic fatty acid profile can be mimicked with mixtures of other oil types. Here, the authors use a deep learning method to uncover fatty acid patterns discriminative for ten different plant oil types and to discern composition of mixtures.

    • Kevin Lim
    • , Kun Pan
    •  & Rong Hui Xiao
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    Biofortification is an effective means to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. Here, the authors review recent advances in biofortification and propose stacking multiple micronutrient traits into high-yielding varieties through the combination of conventional breeding and genetic engineering approaches.

    • Dominique Van Der Straeten
    • , Navreet K. Bhullar
    •  & Howarth Bouis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Switching and relocating crops could be a key pathway for agricultural adaptation to climate change. Here, Rising and Devineni use data-driven Bayesian modelling to estimate the potential for crop switching to mitigate climate impacts on US crop production under a high-emission scenario, showing considerable opportunities but also limitations.

    • James Rising
    •  & Naresh Devineni
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Phosphorus is an essential nutrient critical for agriculture, but because it is non-renewable its future availability is threatened. Here the authors show that across the globe most nations have net losses of phosphorus, with soil erosion as the major route of loss in Europe, Africa and South America.

    • Christine Alewell
    • , Bruno Ringeval
    •  & Pasquale Borrelli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wheat yield is sensitive to temperature, but there could be substantial variation in this response across cultivars. Here the authors present data on the climatic responses of wheat cultivars in South Africa, highlighting which cultivars might be better able to maintain yield under warming.

    • Aaron M. Shew
    • , Jesse B. Tack
    •  & Petronella Chaminuka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Global largest agricultural ammonia (NH3) emissions in China have caused severe damage to both ecosystem and human health, yet no policy is formulated to reduce NH3 emissions. Here, the authors show that halving agricultural NH3 emissions with feasible technical mitigation options in China generates far more societal benefits than abatement costs.

    • Xiuming Zhang
    • , Baojing Gu
    •  & Deli Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Studies on examining the climate impact on irrigated agriculture do not account for regional specific details. Here the authors studied both the direct and indirect impact of climate change on irrigated agriculture in the Yakima River Basin (YRB) and found that increasingly severe droughts and temperature driven reductions in growing season significantly reduces expected annual agricultural productivity.

    • Keyvan Malek
    • , Patrick Reed
    •  & Michael Brady
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Insect population control using conditional lethal systems could break down due to spontaneous mutations that render the system ineffective. Here the authors analyse the structure and frequency of such mutations in Drosophila and suggest the use of dual lethality systems to mitigate their survival.

    • Yang Zhao
    • , Marc F. Schetelig
    •  & Alfred M. Handler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Extreme high temperature events are increasing in frequency and severity, threatening the capacity for crops and farmers alike to adapt. Here Sloat and colleagues track the movement of cereal crops over the past 40 years, finding a global migration away from warming climates.

    • Lindsey L. Sloat
    • , Steven J. Davis
    •  & Nathaniel D. Mueller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The role of paddy rice agriculture in the spatial and temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration remains unclear. Here, Zhang et al. show that regions with dense rice paddies have high satellite-based column averaged CH4 concentrations (XCH4), and that seasonal dynamics of XCH4 mirror those of paddy rice growth.

    • Geli Zhang
    • , Xiangming Xiao
    •  & Berrien Moore III
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Here, the authors combine in silico analysis of 435 genomes of ruminal bacteria and archaea with transcriptomics and in vitro assays to investigate the distribution, expression and mobility of antibiotic resistance genes within the ruminal microbiota, finding that the tet(W) gene is under positive selective pressure.

    • Yasmin Neves Vieira Sabino
    • , Mateus Ferreira Santana
    •  & Hilário Cuquetto Mantovani