Mixed crop-livestock systems provide livelihoods for two thirds of the human population, providing half of the world’s cereal and one third of its beef and milk (Herrero et al. 2010). Population growth and dietary change will drive global food demand to unprecedented levels in the coming decades (Delgado et al. 1999) meaning food production must increase 60-70% by 2050 to keep pace (Bruinsma 2009). Agriculture, although vital to the livelihoods of billions of people, is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions (Vermeulen et al. 2012). Future food security depends on agriculture’s continued productivity despite its vulnerability to the projected impacts of climate change (IPCC 2000a): increased incidence of extreme weather events (Tao et al. 2009), shifting water regimes and distribution of pests and diseases (Jarvis et al. 2012; Garrett et al. 2012), declining forage quality due to shorter growing seasons (Jones & Thornton 2009), and high temperature stress (Challinor et al. 2007).
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