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Climate change is altering agricultural production and ecosystems around the world. Future projections indicate that additional change is expected in the coming decades, forcing individuals and communities to respond and adapt. Current research efforts typically examine climate change effects and possible adaptations but fail to integrate agriculture and ecosystems. This failure to jointly consider these systems and associated externalities may underestimate climate change impacts or cause adaptation implementation surprises, such as causing adaptation status of some groups or ecosystems to be worsened. This work describes and motivates reasons why ecosystems and agriculture adaptation require an integrated analytical approach. Synthesis of current literature and examples from Texas are used to explain concepts and current challenges. Texas is chosen because of its high agricultural output that is produced in close interrelationship with the surrounding semi-arid ecosystem. We conclude that future effect and adaptation analyses would be wise to jointly consider ecosystems and agriculture. Existing paradigms and useful methodology can be transplanted from the sustainable agriculture and ecosystem service literature to explore alternatives for climate adaptation and incentivization of private agriculturalists and consumers. Researchers are encouraged to adopt integrated modeling as a means to avoid implementation challenges and surprises when formulating and implementing adaptation.
Thayer, A.W., A. Vargas, A.A. Castellanos, C.W. Lafon, B.A. McCarl, D.L. Roelke, K.O. Wine- miller, T.E. Lacher. 2020. "Integrating Agriculture and Ecosystems to Find Suitable Adaptations to Climate Change." Climate. doi: 10.3390/cli8010010