The critical role of extreme heat for maize production in the United States

Lobell, David B., Hammer, Graeme L., McLean, Greg, Messina, Carlos, Roberts, Michael J. and Schlenker, Wolfram (2013) The critical role of extreme heat for maize production in the United States. Nature Climate Change, 3 5: 497-501. doi:10.1038/NCLIMATE1832

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Author Lobell, David B.
Hammer, Graeme L.
McLean, Greg
Messina, Carlos
Roberts, Michael J.
Schlenker, Wolfram
Title The critical role of extreme heat for maize production in the United States
Journal name Nature Climate Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1758-678X
Publication date 2013-05-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/NCLIMATE1832
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 3
Issue 5
Start page 497
End page 501
Total pages 5
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing
Language eng
Subject 2301 Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
3301 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
Abstract Statistical studies of rainfed maize yields in the United States and elsewhere have indicated two clear features: a strong negative yield response to accumulation of temperatures above 30C (or extreme degree days (EDD)), and a relatively weak response to seasonal rainfall. Here we show that the process-based Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) is able to reproduce both of these relationships in the Midwestern United States and provide insight into underlying mechanisms. The predominant effects of EDD in APSIM are associated with increased vapour pressure deficit, which contributes to water stress in two ways: by increasing demand for soil water to sustain a given rate of carbon assimilation, and by reducing future supply of soil water by raising transpiration rates. APSIM computes daily water stress as the ratio of water supply to demand, and during the critical month of July this ratio is three times more responsive to 2C warming than to a 20% precipitation reduction. The results suggest a relatively minor role for direct heat stress on reproductive organs at present temperatures in this region. Effects of elevated CO2 on transpiration efficiency should reduce yield sensitivity to EDD in the coming decades, but at most by 25%.
Keyword Crop Production
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID SES-0962625
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 203 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 214 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 14 Jul 2013, 10:04:30 EST by System User on behalf of Qld Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation