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Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas

versão impressa ISSN 2007-0934


RUIZ CORRAL, José Ariel et al. Climate change and its implications in five producing areas of maize in Mexico. Rev. Mex. Cienc. Agríc [online]. 2011, vol.2, n.spe2, pp.309-323. ISSN 2007-0934.

The aim of this paper was to determine the agro-climatic changes that may be associated with climate change during the first decades of the XXI century, in five maize-producing areas in Mexico. This was achieved using national geographic information systems, both for current weather and, the expected weather for three decades of the XXI century (2011 -2020, 2031 -2040 and 2051 -2060); which was estimated by using general circulation models. The changes that might arise for the period from May to October were analyzed, related to the average temperature (Tm), diurnal temperature (Td), night temperature (Tn), development degree-days (GDD), precipitation (P), potential evapotranspiration (ETP), moisture index calculated based on the ratio P/ETP (IH) and, the potential areas for maize. The results showed that, between 1961-2003 and 2051-2060, the average temperature from May to October will increase 1.9, 1.9, 2, 1.9 and 1.8 °C in the tropics, subtropics, height transitional, high valleys and, very high valleys as well, respectively. Meanwhile the precipitation in this season of the year will decrease 4.4, 3.8, 4.1, 4.5 and 4.4% in the very same areas. These changes will result in an increase of Td and Tn as well as in GDD and ETP. This latest increase combined with the decreasing precipitation will produce less favorable water balance for the crop; while the nighttime temperature increase will cause higher nocturnal respiration rates and, increased GDD will induced a shortening of the maturity cycle of the plant genotypes. All of this together will cause a reduction of the surface with optimal growing conditions for maize production in tropical areas, subtropical and transitional, with an increase of this surface in high valleys and very high valleys. These results could be used in the design of strategies to address the climatic change in the maize producing areas in Mexico.

Palavras-chave : Zea maiz L.; agro-ecological aptitude; climate change and agriculture; maize.

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