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Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 13  |  Issue: 22  |  Page No.: 4961 - 4965

Impacts of Accumulated Temperature Changes on the Maize Belt in Heilongjiang Province

Long Hai-li, Xie Rui-zhi, Li Shao-kun, Zhang Shu-quan, Ming bo, Liu Yue-e, Ma Da-ling and Gao Shi-ju    

Abstract: Global warming has altered the distribution of the maize (Zea mays) belts in China. Climate change has important impacts on regional agricultural planning, especially in Heilongjiang Province. Heilongjiang is the northernmost province in China and is the main production area of maize but is also the most sensitive to temperature changes. In the 1980s, the planted area of maize was divided into five belts in Heilongjiang Province, however, since the 1980s the mean air temperature has increased by 0.77°C and the active accumulated temperature above 10°C has increased by about 200°C in the 2000 sec. These temperature increases have resulted in changes in the area planted with maize. Regional planning of maize planting in the 1980s could not be adapted to meet the demand. The active accumulated temperature above 10°C has typically been a main index used in regional planning. In this study, we have redefined the period of accumulated temperature above 10°C based on the maize growing season. The temperature required for maize germination and cessation differs from other crops, with the maize growing season being designated as the first day in a five consecutive day period with temperature = 10°C until the first frost. In the past, little attention was paid to the onset and length of the maize growing season. A different definition of the growing period would result in different heat distribution maps. An index of ecological divisions based on growing season would be more helpful for regional planning of maize production.

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