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CR 36:79-88 (2008)  -  DOI:

Effects of climatic variation and warming on rice development across South China

Pei-Ling Lu1, Qiang Yu2,*, Enli Wang3, Jian-Dong Liu4, Shou-Hua Xu2

1College of Resources and Environment, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
2Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
3CSIRO Division of Land and Water, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
4Center for Agrometeorology, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Rice Oryza sativa L. development—and also its response to climatic change—is mainly determined by temperature and photoperiod. An experiment was conducted to study the influence of meteorological factors on growth and development of hybrid rice in South China, in which seeds were sown at different sites at different dates in the spring. The 29 experimental sites were spread over a large area, with latitudes from 21°39’ to 34°16’N and altitudes from 1.0 to 1862 m above sea level. It was found that the length of the growth period at low latitudes (21 to 25°N) was mainly determined by temperature and showed a single-peaked curve with an optimum temperature at about 25.7°C. The temperature response of development is almost linear at high latitudes (25 to 35°N), but the dependence is not as close and significant as that at low latitude, due to longer daylength and its higher variation. A phenological-simulation model with a biological basis was used to simulate the developmental stages of rice in South China. It described both thermal sensitivity and photoperiodism using nonlinear equations. The model was validated by data of sowing-date experiments carried out at different geographical sites, and then was applied to evaluate changes in the length of the rice-growth period in response to climate warming during the period from 1951 to 2006. Because there was significant warming, and the length of the growth period was sensitive to this change over the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau (YGP), the length of the growth period was narrowed by 6 to 14 d (comparing 1990 to 2006 with 1951 to 1989), whereas it was shortened by 1 to 2 d in most low plain areas in South China. The probability of serious temperature related crop failure will increase if planting of a late-maturity variety is adopted in high altitude areas.

KEY WORDS: Climatic variation · Temperature · Photoperiod · Rice · Development · Model · South China

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Cite this article as: Lu PL, Yu Q, Wang E, Liu JD, Xu SH (2008) Effects of climatic variation and warming on rice development across South China. Clim Res 36:79-88.

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