Ancient and modern wheat varieties: A trade‐off between soil CO 2 emissions and grain yield? - Institut Agro Dijon Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment Year : 2023

Ancient and modern wheat varieties: A trade‐off between soil CO 2 emissions and grain yield?

Laly Rouch
Stéphane Follain
Eric Pimet
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  • PersonId : 1205930
Florian Bizouard
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  • PersonId : 1147586
Olivier Mathieu
Manuel Blouin
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Introduction : Humanity is facing two great challenges: producing enough food for a growing population and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. In this study, we investigated the choice of specific wheat varieties to improve carbon storage in soil while producing enough grain to assure food security. We hypothesize that ancient wheat varieties could store more carbon than modern ones, due to a likely bigger and deeper root system or to more recalcitrant root organic matter. Materials and Methods : We conducted a field experiment with four modern and four ancient wheat varieties, on four different sites with contrasted soil properties. Root morphology was assessed by image analysis and potential CO 2 emissions by incubation for 60 days. Since in situ carbon storage differences between ancient and modern varieties were expected to be weak and not cumulated due to rotation, we estimated expected CO 2 emissions from root biomass and potential CO 2 emissions. The grain yield was also measured. Results : The breeding type (ancient vs. modern varieties) affected root length in two of our four sites, with longer roots for ancient varieties, but it did not affect other root traits such as biomass. The breeding type also affected CO 2 emissions, with higher measured CO 2 emissions for modern than ancient varieties in Arenic Cambisol conditions (Morvan), and higher estimated (considering root biomass variations) CO 2 emissions for modern varieties in Rendzic Leptosol conditions (Saint Romain). Root traits and estimated CO 2 emissions were also dependent on the soil properties of the different sites. We did not find any significant differences in grain yield between ancient and modern varieties. Conclusion : A possible trade‐off between carbon storage and grain production was expected, but our results suggest that some types of soil can support both high grain yield and C storage, especially those with an important depth, a neutral pH and a fine texture.
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Licence : CC BY - Attribution

Dates and versions

hal-04202068 , version 1 (11-09-2023)





Laly Rouch, Stéphane Follain, Eric Pimet, Florian Bizouard, Elodie Cognard, et al.. Ancient and modern wheat varieties: A trade‐off between soil CO 2 emissions and grain yield?. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, 2023, 2 (3), pp.238-250. ⟨10.1002/sae2.12048⟩. ⟨hal-04202068⟩
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