Biotech Updates

Adaptation Could Improve Maize Yield and Evapotranspiration Amidst Climate Change

June 25, 2010

Adaptation could be one of the best solutions available for the rampant food production issues regarding climate change. Fulu Tao of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Zhao Zhang of Beijing Normal University used a projection system (super-ensemble-based probabilistic projection system or super EPPS) on maize productivity and evapotranspiration (ET) during growing period for 2050s in the North China Plain. They also aimed to analyze the possible contribution of adaptation to the yield and ET of maize at the same period.

Based on the results of super EPPS, by 2050s, maize production could decrease by 13.2-19.1%, and the ET during growing period could decrease by 15.6-21.8%, based on the 1961-1990 data. In comparison with experiment without adaptation, maize yield would increase by −2.4% to −1.4%, 34.7–45.6%, and 5.7–6.1%, when using adaptation options like early planting, fixing variety growing duration, and late planting, ET could also increase by 0.7–0.9%, 9.4–11.6%, and −0.4% to 0.2%, respectively. The relative contributions of the adaptation options might vary depending on location, the climate and the characteristics of the varieties used. Thus, development of crops with high-temperature tolerance and high thermal requirement is highly recommended to combat the effects of climate change on food production.

The abstract of this study is available at