Global alterations in areas of suitability for maize production from climate change and using a mechanistic species distribution model (CLIMEX)

Nadiezhda Y.Z. Ramirez-Cabral, Lalit Kumar, Farzin Shabani

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Abstract

At the global level, maize is the third most important crop on the basis of harvested area. Given its importance, an assessment of the variation in regional climatic suitability under climate change is critical. CliMond 10′ data were used to model the potential current and future climate distribution of maize at the global level using the CLIMEX distribution model with climate data from two general circulation models, CSIRO-Mk3.0 and MIROC-H, assuming an A2 emissions scenario for 2050 and 2100. The change in area under future climate was analysed at continental level and for major maize-producing countries of the world. Regions between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn indicate the highest loss of climatic suitability, contrary to poleward regions that exhibit an increase of suitability. South America shows the highest loss of climatic suitability, followed by Africa and Oceania. Asia, Europe and North America exhibit an increase in climatic suitability. This study indicates that globally, large areas that are currently suitable for maize cultivation will suffer from heat and dry stresses that may constrain production. For the first time, a model was applied worldwide, allowing for a better understanding of areas that are suitable and that may remain suitable for maize.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5910
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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