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The influence of excess precipitation on winter wheat under climate change in China from 1961 to 2017

Journal article
Authors Y. L. Song
Hans W. Linderholm
C. Y. Wang
J. F. Tian
Z. G. Huo
P. Gao
Y. B. Song
A. H. Guo
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Volume 690
Pages 189-196
ISSN 0048-9697
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Pages 189-196
Language en
Keywords Climate change, Winter wheat, China, variability, impact, model, temperature, yield, Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Winter wheat is one of China's most important staple food crops, and its growth and productivity are influenced by climate. Given its importance, we investigated the influence of excess precipitation under recent climate change on winter wheat in east-central China during 1961-2017. Although annual precipitation in the studied region decreased slightly, it increased during the winter wheat flowering and maturity period (May to June). Concurrently, the number of late growing season sunshine hours decreased. Our results showed that about 44% of the years with excess precipitation and less than normal radiation (16 years) were associated with decreasing winter wheat yields. Furthermore, during most years, precipitation of 50% above normal resulted in large decreases in winter wheat production in Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, some of the wetter parts of the studied region. These results indicated that the grain yield variability of winter wheat was mainly influenced by excess precipitation in May, where precipitation could explain 70%-78% of yield variability in the wet parts. Moreover, excess precipitation can induce Fusarium head blight as well as wheat sprouting of pre-harvest, both affecting the grain quality of winter wheat. Projected increases in precipitation throughout the 21st century in the studied region, warrants further studies of how to maintain the winter wheat production in a changing climate. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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