Assessment of causality between climate variables and production for whole crop maize using structural equation modeling
Received: Nov 09, 2020; Revised: Jan 04, 2021; Accepted: Jan 05, 2021
Published Online: Feb 05, 2021
This study aimed to assess the causality of different climate variables on the production of whole crop maize silage (<italic>Zea mays</italic> L.; WCM) in the central inland region of the Republic of Korea. Furthermore, the effect of these climate variables was also determined by looking at direct and indirect pathways during the stages before and after silking. The WCM metadata (n = 640) were collected from the Rural Development Administration’s reports of new variety adaptability from 1985‒2011 (27 years). The climate data was collected based on year and location from the Korean Meteorology Administration’s weather information system. Causality, in this study, was defined by various cause-and-effect relationships between climatic factors, such as temperature, rainfall amount, sunshine duration, wind speed and relative humidity in the seeding to silking stage and the silking to harvesting stage. All climate variables except wind speed were different before and after the silking stage, which indicates the silking occurred during the period when the Korean season changed from spring to summer. Therefore, the structure of causality was constructed by taking account of the climate variables that were divided by the silking stage. In particular, the indirect effect of rainfall through the appropriate temperature range was different before and after the silking stage. The damage caused by heat-humidity was having effect before the silking stage while the damage caused by night-heat was not affecting WCM production. There was a large variation in soil surface temperature and rainfall before and after the silking stage. Over 350 mm of rainfall affected dry matter yield (DMY) when soil surface temperatures were less than 22℃ before the silking stage. Over 900 mm of rainfall also affected DMY when soil surface temperatures were over 27℃ after the silking stage. For the longitudinal effects of soil surface temperature and rainfall amount, less than 22℃ soil surface temperature and over 300 mm of rainfall before the silking stage affected yield through over 26℃ soil surface temperature and less than 900 mm rainfall after the silking stage, respectively.