Impact of warming climate, sowing date, and cultivar shift on rice phenology across China during 1981–2010

  • Huizi Bai
  • Dengpan XiaoEmail author
  • He Zhang
  • Fulu Tao
  • Yuhun Hu
Original Paper


Climate change would exert significantly impact on crop yield by altering crop growth and development processes. Therefore, to ensure food security, it is necessary to assess the response and adaptation of crop phenology to the natural (mainly climate change) and artificial (including sowing date (SD) change and cultivar shift) factors. In this study, using field data from 113 agro-meteorological experiment stations across China, along with the Agricultural Production System Simulator (APSIM) oryza model, we investigated the trends of rice phenology in relation to climate change and agronomic factors (i.e., SD change and cultivar shift) from 1981 to 2010. We found that flowering date (FD) and maturity date (MD) of single-rice were delayed by 0.3 and 1.4 days 10a−1, respectively, but FD and MD of double-rice were advanced by 0.7–0.8 and 0.2–1.1 days 10a−1, respectively. Climate change advanced FD and MD of rice at representative stations except FD of late-rice, and shortened length of rice growth period. SD change of rice mainly affected duration of vegetative growth phase (VGP, from SD to FD), but had no significant impact on duration of reproductive growth phase (RGP, from FD to MD). Cultivar shift delayed FD and MD of rice at all representative stations except late-rice at Lianhua. Moreover, cultivar shift prolonged the duration of rice RGP by 0.2–2.8 days 10a−1. Overall, the results suggested that rice phenology was adapting to ongoing climate change by SD change and adoption of cultivars with longer RGP. Therefore, crop phenological characteristics should be sufficiently taken into account to develop adaptation strategies in the future.


Climate change APSIM Phenology Sowing date Cultivar shift 



This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province, China (D2018302012), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFD0300908), and the Science and Technology Program of Hebei Academy of Sciences (18107).

Supplementary material

484_2019_1723_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huizi Bai
    • 1
  • Dengpan Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  • He Zhang
    • 2
  • Fulu Tao
    • 3
  • Yuhun Hu
    • 4
  1. 1.Engineering Technology Research Center, Geographic Information Development and Application of Hebei, Institute of Geographical SciencesHebei Academy of SciencesShijiazhuangChina
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesShijiazhuangChina

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