Impact of increased temperature on spring wheat yield in northern China

Jun Ye, Zhen Gao, Xiaohua Wu, Zhanyuan Lu, Cundong Li, Xiaobing Wang, Liyu Chen, Guohui Cui, Meiling Yu, Guijun Yan, Hui Liu, Haibin Zhang, Zhanxian Wang, Xuefen Shi, Yuanqing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)


Global warming has been reported to cause reductions in crop yields. However, it was suggested that warming temperature might benefit crop productivity in some cool areas at high latitude. In this study, we conducted a 17-year field experiment (2002–2018) on spring wheat in Inner Mongolia. Temperature changes during each growth stage of spring wheat were investigated. Responses of spring wheat yield to temperature changes during the specific growing stages were evaluated. Average annual maximum temperature (Tmax) and minimum temperature (Tmin) significantly increased over the past 17 years. However, Tmax did not show obvious increase trend during spring wheat growing seasons (p = 0.0672). Furthermore, Tmax also had no distinct change before or after anthesis. Tmin significantly increased during the whole growing season, as well as in pre- and post-anthesis stages. Correlation analysis indicated that Tmax in the entire growing season and post-anthesis did not affect spring wheat yield, but high Tmax during pre-anthesis can improve grain yield. The Tmin during the life cycle and pre-anthesis both had positive relationship with grain yield. Moreover, elevated temperature from seedling to stem elongation can benefit tiller formation and thus increasing spike number, which contributed to the significant yield increase (p = 0.0093). Overall, climate warming affect spring wheat yield in cool area, and increasing temperature that was below the optimum temperature can benefit wheat productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-378
Number of pages11
JournalFood and Energy Security
Issue number2
Early online date1 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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