Phys.org (Sept. 20) – How will we feed our growing population in the face of an increasingly extreme climate? Many experts suggest the answer lies in breeding novel crop varieties that can withstand the increases in drought, heat and extreme rainfall events. But breeding is only part of the equation, according to new research from Illinois and several collaborating institutions. “It might not be necessary to put all the stress of climate adaptation and mitigation on new varieties. Instead, if we can manage agroecosystems more appropriately, we can buffer some of the effects of climate instability,” says Illinois ecologist Adam Davis.