Climate change impacts on long-term field experiments in Germany (2023)

Donmez C., Schmidt M., Cilek A., Grosse M., Paul C., Hierold W., Helming K.

Agricultural Systems, 205 (103578),



The objective of the study was to estimate the expected changes of agroclimatic conditions spatially for the German LTE sites as a precondition for modelling and LTE data interpretation. An integrated GIS-based framework was developed incorporating spatially distributed climate data and LTE metadata to identify the possible climatic changes at 247 LTE sites with experiments over 20 years. A baseline (1971–2000) with future Shared Social Pathway (SSP) scenarios up to 2100 by spatially analyzing agroclimatic indicators (aridity index, frost days, growing degree days in growing season length, etc.) was compared for all LTE sites. 

The results show that, under the most extreme scenario (SSP585), 150 LTEs are expected to shift from humid and dry sub-humid to semi-arid conditions. Frost days in LTE areas are expected to decline by 81%, and the growing season to lengthen by up to 92%. 

The outputs are expected to guide the interpretation of LTE data regarding the effect of climate change, facilitating future soil crop modelling studies with LTE data. It may help provide information for planning new LTE sites to support future agricultural research and adapting management on existing LTE sites. The framework developed in the study can easily be transferred to LTE sites in agricultural regions worldwide to support LTE research on climate change impacts and adaptation.