عنوان مقاله [English]
Climate change is a major challenge for ecosystems and in particular, its impact on agriculture varies depending on regional characteristic and farming systems. Hence new challenges for production are emerging which should be carefully examined. The aim if this study is to project future spatial changes in current maize producing regions of Khuzestan Province, southwest of Iran under RCP scenarios by 2050s. The applied methodology is based on agro-ecological classification. This classification approach consists of combining two groups of environmental components including climatic (temperature under different scenarios) and non-climatic (land use) components including soil, slope, irrigated land, and type of farm management, by using the analytic hierarchy process. The baseline and future climate data were retrieved from the WorldClim database and ensembles for RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 6 for 12 selected GCMs. Results suggested that by 2050, the regions suitable for growing maize will be reduced by 65% in AEZ1 and by 36% in AEZ2. Maize will be grown mainly in the northwestern regions, and the southeastern regions will lose their suitability for maize cultivation. Presently, the southeastern part of the province is the main production region, in which the continuous growing of maize would be almost impossible under future climatic conditions.
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