2 December 2021 Assessing the impacts of projected climate changes on maize (Zea mays) productivity using crop models and climate scenario simulation
Xuan Yang, Dorothy Menefee, Song Cui, Nithya Rajan
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Context. Investigating agronomic responses of dryland maize (Zea mays L.) systems under global change could provide important insights in designing climate-resilient cropping systems.

Aims and methods. In this study, we integrated Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) with Representative Concentration Pathways 8.5 and 20 Global Climate Models to systematically: (1) calibrate and validate APSIM using large-field study conducted in East-Central Texas; (2) evaluate the impacts of climate change on maize productivity and risks; and (3) investigate the variations in growth stage lengths.

Key results. Results indicated that APSIM simulated grain yield, biomass production, precipitation productivity (PP; kg ha-1 mm-1) and developmental stage transition agreed well with observation (NRMSE < 14.9%). Changes in temperature and precipitation shortened growing seasons and affected available water, resulting in widely varied yield and PP. Mean grain yield changed from -34.8 to +19.7%, mean PP were improved 9.2-36.5%. The grain production could be maintained at least the standard of 75% of historical in most cases, but with greater risks for achieving higher threshold (50% of baseline). Finally, simulations indicated shortened days (4-13 days) for reaching key developmental stages for maize.

Conclusions and implications. The results advocate adoptions of management practice that incorporating early sowing, irrigations at sowing/VT stages, and selections of late-maturing cultivars for better sustainability and higher productivity.

© 2021 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing.
Xuan Yang, Dorothy Menefee, Song Cui, and Nithya Rajan "Assessing the impacts of projected climate changes on maize (Zea mays) productivity using crop models and climate scenario simulation," Crop and Pasture Science 72(12), 969-984, (2 December 2021). https://doi.org/10.1071/CP21279
Received: 21 January 2021; Accepted: 1 September 2021; Published: 2 December 2021
climate change
climate risk
crop productivity
growing season duration
precipitation productivity
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