Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (9): 1072-1084.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1422-4

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Reponses and sensitivities of maize phenology to climate change from 1981 to 2009 in Henan Province, China

Yujie LIU1(), Ya QIN1,2, Quansheng GE1, Junhu DAI1, Qiaomin CHEN1,3   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Xi’an University of Science and Technology, College of Surveying and Mapping Science and Technology, Xi’an 710054, China
    3. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2016-11-15 Accepted:2017-01-16 Online:2017-09-10 Published:2017-09-05
  • About author:

    Author: Liu Yujie, PhD and Associate Professor, specialized in climate change.

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41671037, No.41301091;The National Key Research and Development Program of China, No.2016YFA0602402;The Youth Innovation Promotion Association of CAS, No.2016049


With the global warming, crop phenological shifts in responses to climate change have become a hot research topic. Based on the long-term observed agro-meteorological phenological data (1981-2009) and meteorological data, we quantitatively analyzed temporal and spatial shifts in maize phenology and their sensitivities to key climate factors change using climate tendency rate and sensitivity analysis methods. Results indicated that the sowing date was significantly delayed and the delay tendency rate was 9.0 d·10a-1. But the stages from emergence to maturity occurred earlier (0.1 d·10a-1<θ<1.7 d·10a-1, θ is the change slope of maize phenology). The length of vegetative period (VPL) (from emergence to tasseling) was shortened by 0.9 d·10a-1, while the length of generative period (GPL) (from tasseling to maturity) was lengthened by 1.7 d·10a-1. The growing season length (GSL) (from emergence to maturity) was lengthened by 0.4 d·10a-1. Correlation analysis indicated that maize phenology was significantly correlated with average temperature, precipitation, sunshine duration and growing degree days (GDD) (p<0.01). Average temperature had significant negative correlation relationship, while precipitation, sunshine duration and growing degree days had significant positive correlations with maize phenology. Sensitivity analysis indicated that maize phenology showed different responses to variations in key climate factors, especially at different sites. The conclusions of this research could provide scientific supports for agricultural adaptation to climate change to address the global food security issue.

Key words: climate change, maize, phenology, trend analysis, sensitivity