Chu, L; Huang, C; Liu, QS; Cai, CF; Liu, GH (2020). Spatial Heterogeneity of Winter Wheat Yield and Its Determinants in the Yellow River Delta, China. SUSTAINABILITY, 12(1), 135.

Understanding spatial differences of crop yields and quantitatively exploring the relationship between crop yields and influencing factors are of great significance in increasing regional crop yields, promoting sustainable development of regional agriculture and ensuring regional food security. This study investigates spatial heterogeneity of winter wheat yield and its determinants in the Yellow River Delta (YRD) region. The spatial pattern of winter wheat in 2015 was mapped through time series similarity analysis. Winter wheat yield was estimated by integrating phenological information into yield model, and cross-validation was performed using actual yield data. The geographical detector method was used to analyze determinants influencing winter wheat yield. This study concluded that the overall classification accuracy for winter wheat is 88.09%. The estimated yield agreed with actual yield, with R-2 value of 0.74 and root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.02 t ha(-1). Cumulative temperature, soil salinity and their interactions were key determinants affecting winter wheat yield. Several measures are recommended to ensure sustainable crop production in the YRD region, including improving irrigation and drainage systems to reduce soil salinity, selecting salt-tolerant winter wheat varieties, and improving agronomy techniques to extend effective cumulative temperature.