Responses and sensitivities of maize phenology to climate change from 1971 to 2020 in Henan Province, China.
Climate change affects many aspects of the physiological and biochemical processes of growing maize and ultimately its yield. A comprehensive climate suitability model is proposed that quantifies the effects of temperature, precipitation, solar radiation, and wind in different phenological stages of maize. It is calibrated using weather and yield data from China's Henan Province. The comprehensive suitability model showed the capability of correctly hindcasting observed temporal and spatial changes in maize phenology in response to climatic factors. The predicted yield based on the suitability model can well match the recorded field yield very well from 1971-2020. The results of correlation showed that the yields are more closely related to multi-weather factors, temperature and precipitation than to solar radiation and wind. The sensitivity analysis illustrates that temperature and precipitation are the dominant weather factors affecting yield changes based on a direct differentiation method. The comprehensive suitability model can provide a scientific support and analysis tool for predicting grain production considering climate changes.