Climate change will lead to larger areas of Spain being conducive to date palm cultivation

Farzin Shabani*, Lalit Kumar, Atefeh Esmaeili, Hanieh Saremi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


One consequence of climate change is the change in the phenology and distribution of plants. The unique and distinctive date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in Spain may be negatively or positively affected by climate change; particularly if favourable climate conditions shift to other areas. Effective management of such an economically important crop necessitates knowledge of their potential distribution under current and future climate. This study utilised CLIMEX to model the potential date palm distribution under current and future climate scenarios using one emission scenario (A2) with two different Global Climate Models (GCMs): CSIRO-Mk3.0 (CS) and MIROC-H (MR). In Spain, large areas are projected to become more climatically suitable for date palm growth by 2100. However, the results from the CS and MR GCMs show disagreements, especially from 2070 to 2100. The MR GCM projected that approximately 33.8 million hectares in Spain may become suitable for date palm growth, while the CS GCM showed approximately 28.12 million hectares by 2100. In other words, the MR model projected more areas may become climatically suitable for date palm cultivation compared with the CS model. Our results indicate that cold and wet stresses will play a significant role in date palm distribution in some Central and Northern regions of Spain by 2100. These results can inform strategic planning by government and agricultural organisations to identify areas for cultivation of this profitable crop in the future and to address those areas that will need greater attention, because they are becoming marginal regions for date palm cultivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2441-2446
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Date palms
  • Phoenix dactylifera L.
  • Spain


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