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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-1
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-1
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Jan 2019

Research article | 09 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

The impact of drought on the productivity of two rainfed crops in Spain

Marina Peña-Gallardo1, Sergio Martín Vicente-Serrano1, Fernando Domínguez-Castro1, and Santiago Beguería2 Marina Peña-Gallardo et al.
  • 1Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPE-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC), Zaragoza, Spain

Abstract. Drought events are of great importance in most Mediterranean climate regions because of the diverse and costly impacts they have in various economic sectors and on the environment. The effects of this natural hazard on rainfed crops are particularly evident. In this study the impacts of drought on two representative rainfed crops in Spain (wheat and barley) were assessed. As the agriculture sector is vulnerable to climate, it is especially important to identify the most appropriate tools for monitoring the impact of the weather on crops, and particularly the impact of drought. Drought indices are the most effective tool for that purpose. Various drought indices have been used to assess the influence of drought on crop yields in Spain, including the standardized precipitation and evapotranspiration index (SPEI), the standardized precipitation index (SPI), the Palmer drought indices (PDSI, Z-Index, PHDI, PMDI), and the standardized Palmer drought index (SPDI). Two sets of crop yield data at different spatial scales and temporal periods were used in the analysis. The results showed that drought indices calculated at different time scales (SPI, SPEI) most closely correlated with crop yield. The results also suggested that different patterns of yield response to drought occurred depending on the region, period of the year, and the drought time scale. The differing responses across the country were related to season and the magnitude of various climate variables.

Marina Peña-Gallardo et al.
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Short summary
Drought events are of great importance in most Mediterranean climate regions and the impacts caused on rainfed crops are particularly evident. In this study the impacts of drought on two representative rainfed crops in Spain (wheat and barley) are assessed by testing various worldwide drought indices and two datasets at different spatial resolution.
Drought events are of great importance in most Mediterranean climate regions and the impacts...
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