While you were sleeping: increasing nighttime temperatures and their effects on plant productivity
- Impact Area
When one thinks of heat waves, the natural tendency is to consider high daytime temperatures. However, when most people are sleeping, a hidden factor of climate change is taking place: temperatures at night are not dipping as much as observed in the past, which has dramatic effects on many crops, including wheat. In fact, nocturnal temperatures are rising more rapidly globally than daytime temperatures, which is of great concern as research is starting to show the sensitivity of plants to warmer nights.
A group of researchers including scientists from CIMMYT examined how different wheat lines reacted to the effects of rising nighttime temperatures treatments imposed in the field, for three years at CIMMYT’s Norman E. Borlaug experimental station in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico. Their results, Night-time warming in the field reduces nocturnal stomatal conductance and grain yield but does not alter daytime physiological responses were published in New Phytologist.