Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

G. Klammler, J. Fank and H. Kupfersberger:

Conceptual approach to investigating the impact of climate change scenarios on groundwater recharge, nitrogen leaching and maize yield predictions at Wagna test site, Austria


Austria's alpine foothill aquifers contain important groundwater resources, but are also used intensively by agriculture. To safeguard regional food production and drinking water supply, this dual use has to be harmonized for a sustainable long-term coexistence. For this purpose, we investigate the influence of future climate projections on groundwater and agricultural yields at the test site Wagna in Austria. Vadose zone model simulations based on four climate change scenarios indicate an increasing trend of groundwater recharge, nitrogen leaching and nitrate concentrations in the seepage water. Maize yields are found to be more sensitive to precipitation than to temperature increase at this location. Thus, no significant maize yield increase is predicted without irrigation in the future. Key words: Nitrate, vadose zone model, crop production, vegetation period, simulation.