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CR 80:73-84 (2020)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01594

Drivers of planting area and yield shifts for three staple crops across China, 1950-2013

Yuchuan Luo1, Zhao Zhang1,*, Juan Cao1, Yi Chen2, Liangliang Zhang1

1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology & MOE Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Natural Hazards, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, PR China
2Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Although the planting areas and yields of 3 staple crops (rice, maize and wheat) in China have undergone dramatic spatial and temporal changes, their geographical dynamics are still unknown. A centroid method was introduced to quantitatively characterize the geographical dynamics of the crop planting area (CPA) and crop yield (CY) for the 3 staple crops from 1950 to 2013 in China. The results showed that the national centroid for rice CPA moved 389.5 km to the northeast during 1950-2013. It moved 430.0, 292.9, and 363.5 km to the northeast for rice CY, maize CPA and maize CY, respectively. However, the centroid for wheat CPA and CY moved randomly. Further panel analyses showed that increasing temperature played a significant and consistently positive role in the shifts of CPA and CY for rice and maize. Precipitation also played a significant positive role, but had a less spatially consistent impact. However, temperature had a significant negative impact on the shifts of CPA and CY for wheat. Socio-economic factors dominated the shifts of the CPA and CY centroids, including agricultural gross domestic product, the power of agricultural machines, and effective irrigated areas. Our study highlights that the shifts of both CY and CPA should be considered in investigating the impacts of climate change and socio-economic development on crop production and the related adaptation measures.


KEY WORDS: Cropland · Land use change · Crop production · Climate change · Socio-economic development


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Cite this article as: Luo Y, Zhang Z, Cao J, Chen Y, Zhang L (2020) Drivers of planting area and yield shifts for three staple crops across China, 1950-2013. Clim Res 80:73-84. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01594

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