PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (3): 443-453.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.03.009

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Change characteristics of maize production potential under the background of climate change in China

ZHOU Meijun1, LI Fei1,2,*(), SHAO Jiaqi1, YANG Haijuan1   

  1. 1.College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Earth Surface System and Environmental Carrying Capacity, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2019-04-09 Revised:2019-10-14 Online:2020-03-28 Published:2020-05-28
  • Contact: LI Fei
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41701094);Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China(2018JQ4024)


Maize is China's largest food crop. Exploring the temporal and spatial characteristics of maize production potential in the context of climate change is of great significance for China to effectively adapt to climate change. This study combined global agro-ecological zone (GAEZ) model, extreme-point symmetric mode decomposition (ESMD) method, and set-pair analysis method to explore the periodic fluctuation characteristics and long-term trend of maize production potential in China and analyzed the process of spatial pattern change. The results show that China's maize production potential increased during 1960-2010, from 910 million tons in the 1960s to 945 million tons in the 2000s. On the interannual scale, China's maize production potential mainly fluctuated in the quasi-three-year and quasi-five-year periods; on the interdecadal scale, there were quasi-10-year and quasi-20-year fluctuation periods. The quasi-three-year periodic fluctuation was the most important feature of the long-term change of maize production potential, which was mainly affected by the change of annual precipitation. Spatially, maize growing areas were mainly concentrated in the region east of Jiagedaqi-Xilinhot-Linhe-Xining-Tianshui-Zhongdian. During the 1960s-2000s, the maize production potential boundary moved in the northeastern part of China and along the Linhe-Xining line. The trend of change of maize production potential in the North China Plain, Liaohe Plain, and Sichuan Basin showed strong consistency; however, the change process in the Songnen Plain, Sanjiang Plain, Guanzhong Basin, and the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River was the opposite of the above. In both types of regions, the changes in maize production potential were significant, and the direction of change was alternating on the interdecadal scale.

Key words: maize production potential, periodic fluctuations, spatial pattern, climate change, China