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Phenological responses of dryland wheat and maize to changes in crop management and rising temperatures from 1992 to 2013 across the Loess Plateau

Mo, F., B.L. Ma, and Y.C. Xiong. 2016. Phenological responses of dryland wheat and maize to changes in crop management and rising temperatures from 1992 to 2013 across the Loess Plateau. The 50th Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) and joint annual Canadian Geophysical Union meeting. Fredericton Convention Centre, Fredericton, NB, Canada. May 29 – Jun. 2, 2016

Abstract

Along with a warming trend around the globe, the study of relationships between crop phenophase and temperature variation has received growing attention since plant phenology was acknowledged as one of the most reliable bio-indicators of climate change. The observed historical changes in crop phenological events are not only as a sensitive indicator to temperature variations but also the consequence of agronomic management innovations such as adjustment of sowing date and cultivar selection. Clarifying how these factors alone influence crop phenology is of paramount importance in understanding/implementing adaptation strategies to future climate change. The phenological data (1992 to 2013) from a total of 18 stations comprising of 10 spring wheat and 8 summer maize stations across Loess Plateau were compiled. Two crop phenology models were applied to exam the individual effect of temperature variation on crop phenology. We found that the extension of growing season caused by cultivar shifts has offset more than 63.5% of the shortening effects induced by rising temperatures in both crops. The adjustment of sowing date and continuous cultivar improvement with efficient and full use of natural resources have proven to be the critical management strategies to cope with rising temperature impact on dryland wheat and maize production in this region.

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