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Basin-wide impacts of climate change on ecosystem services in the Lower Mekong Basin

Water resources support more than 60 million people in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) and are important for food security—especially rice production—and economic security. This study aims to quantify water yield under near- and long-term climate scenarios and assess the potential impacts on rice cultivation. The InVEST model (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade offs) forecasted water yield, and land evaluation was used to delineate suitability classes. Pattern-downscaled climate data were specially generated for the LMB. Predicted annual water yields for 2030 and 2060, derived from a drier overall scenario in combination with medium and high greenhouse gas emissions, indicated a reduction of 9–24% from baseline (average 1986–2005) runoff. In contrast, increased seasonality and wetter rainfall scenarios increased annual runoff by 6–26%. Extreme drought decreased suitability of transplanted rice cultivation by 3%, and rice production would be reduced by 4.2 and 4%, with and without irrigation projects, relative to baseline. Greatest rice reduction was predicted for Thailand, followed by Lao PDR and Cambodia, and was stable for Vietnam. Rice production in the LMB appears sufficient to feed the LMB population in 2030, while rice production in Lao PDR and Cambodia are not expected to be sufficient for domestic consumption, largely due to steep topography and sandy soils as well as drought. Four adaptation measures to minimize climate impacts (i.e., irrigation, changing the planting calendar, new rice varieties, and alternative crops) are discussed.

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Ecosystems
  • SDG13 Climate Action
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Cambodia
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

Article released with open access:

Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified

Y. Trisurat (&) Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand E-mail: Tel.: 662 579 0176 A. Aekakkararungroj Mekong River Commission, Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative, 184 Fa Ngoum Road, P.O. Box 6101, Vientiane, Lao PDR Present address: A. Aekakkararungroj ADPC SERVIR-Mekong, Bangkok, Thailand H. Ma Division of Forest Management, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), 1-1-1 Minato-Mirai, Nishi-Ku, Yokohama 220-0012, Japan J. M. Johnston USEPA/ORD/NERL Computational Exposure Division, 960 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605, USA

Co-author (individual) Y. Trisurat, A. Aekakkararungroj, H. Ma, J. M. Johnston,
Publication place Japan
Publisher The Ecological Society of Japan
Publication date 2017
Pagination 15
General note

Ecol Res DOI 10.1007/s11284-017-1510-z

Keywords rice cultivation,water yield,Lower Mekong Basin
Date uploaded February 5, 2018, 06:56 (UTC)
Date modified February 5, 2018, 06:58 (UTC)