J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2004, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (12): 1387-1392.

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Response of Corn to Climate Warming in Arid Areas in Northwest China

WANG Run-Yuan, ZHANG Qiang, WANG Yao-Lin, YANG Xing-Guo, HAN Yong-Xiang, YANG Qi-Guo   

  • Published:2004-12-03


Based on surface observations, response of corn (Zea mays L.) to climate warming in the Hexi Corridor in the arid northwest of China was investigated. Results show that in the last 20 yr and more the response of corn to climate warming took the form that its growing season came in advance and its growth period became shorter period. And such response is related to the critical temperature. In case the mean temperature during the corn’s growth period was less than the critical temperature, an increase in temperature shortened its growth period. When the mean temperature was higher than the critical temperature, then a rise in temperature no longer showed a tendency of shortening. The continuous increase in temperature in future may cause the mean temperature of corn’s growth period to exceed the critical temperature, thus leading to lengthening of corn’s growth period. In addition, response of corn to climate warming varied in its different growing stages. An increase in temperature shortened corn’s phase of vegetative growth prior to the tasselling phase, prolonged the generative growth phase in the tasselling-milk stage, and cut down the generative growth phase in the milk-maturity stage. These characteristics may correlate with the climatic condition in the arid areas in the northwestern of China, the crop’s physiological properties, and the variation of temperature increase in various seasons.

Key words: arid areas in Northwest China, growth period, corn, climate warming, response

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