FACCE-JPI Knowledge Hub co-ordination of livestock/grasslands component (LIVEM)

Lead Research Organisation: Aberystwyth University
Department Name: IBERS


FACCE MACSUR focuses on modelling European agriculture with climate change for food security. The work is organized in three themes on crop, livestock and trade modelling. The partnership consists of 73 partners from 16 countries all over Europe. The overarching challenge is to develop a pan-European capability in the development, use and interpretation of models to perform risk assessments of the impacts of climate change on European agriculture. To address this the following challenges must be met:
1. Identify and address a range of issues between models in different themes to enable their closer integration including issues of scale and data processing.
2. Train a new generation of scientists to work across models which contribute to greater integration of models. This challenge can be described as focusing on the creation of integrated modellers as opposed to integrated models.
3. Determine the contribution that can be made to reducing uncertainty over the impacts of climate change on European food security by adopting integrated models of crop production, animal production and trade.

Technical Summary

There are limited data concerning the adaptation of livestock production systems in Europe to climate change. This means that estimates of baseline impacts are few and therefore analyses of the advantages and disadvantages of particular adaptation strategies difficult to assess. Similarly, risk thresholds and the likelihood of severe events are not well understood.
This means that the need for and capacity of both autonomous and planned adaptations is unclear and represents a major gap in the provision of scientific evidence to policymakers and other stakeholders.

Major challenges for the Livestock Sub-Theme are:

(i) Identify, evaluate and increase the accessibility of relevant datasets for grasslands, livestock production and climate change
(ii) Compare models at a variety of spatial scales such as grass growth, grasslands and livestock production systems (including infectious disease) and assess model robustness and uncertainty in their estimates
(iii) Integrate models across scales with a central focus on adaptation but consideration also of mitigation measures and potential trade-offs
(iv) Disseminate outcomes to inform policymakers , stakeholders and end-users
(v) Undertake cross-cutting activities with other themes and integrate whenever possible livestock models with crop and socio-economic models in case studies and integrated pilot studies.

Planned Impact

The project aims to improve our understanding of the uncertainties surrounding the ways in which European agriculture will adapt to and mitigate climate change. It is therefore of direct relevance to policy makers and the producers and users of food in the European Union. The project is very high profile and is certain to attract considerable interest from these communities as it progresses. In order to ensure that we able to meet this demand for information we will integrate dissemination within the project. A website is under development and it is intended that stakeholders will be involved in the major events of the project, beginning with the kick-off meeting and concluding with the final conference. Beyond Europe, it is expected that the activities of this project will also contribute to the parallel, global modelling efforts of the AgMIP consortium.


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Nigel Scollan (Author) (2013) Livestock Production and the Feed Challenge

Description FACCE-JPI Knowledge Hub co-ordination of livestock/grasslands component (LIVEM) 
Organisation European Commission
Country European Union (EU) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Coordination of MACSUR livestock theme
Start Year 2013
Description Production of quarterly newsletter of theme progress 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact The regular newsletter informs partners of work and plans within the theme, giving information and contact details for involvement, helping to develop community cohesiveness in livestock research Newsletter produced every three months, or more often where specific events require extra promotion Regular newsletter including round up of theme activities, information on upcoming events and plans, and contact details and communication details for partners

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
Description Work package leaders meeting to facilitate theme activities 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Meeting allowed planning for future progress within project, addressed problems and developed cohesion. Development of ties with other themes, and plans for collaboration between research groups Meeting to discuss theme progress and to plan forthcoming activities. Invited coordinators of the other project teams to exchange ideas and ensure a good fit of our plans, avoiding duplication. Developed links and understanding within group.

no actual impacts realised to date
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013