Assessing the spatiotemporal dynamics of maize yield in the central and northern regions of Ukraine
AbstractThis paper aims to establish the regularities of the spatio-temporal variability of maize yield in the Polissya and Forest-steppe zones of Ukraine, identify the factors that have the greatest impact on the yield of maize and to carry out zoning of the territory based on the sensitivity of yield to these factors. Patterns of spatial heterogeneity of maize yield within the territory of 206 administrative districts of Ukraine over 27 years were studied using Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The statistical analysis is performed using the software Statistica 10, as well as REdaS libraries for the statistical calculations in R Programming Environment. The application of PCA regarding maize yields data enables the identification and mapping of the areas where the ecological components of yield variation are major. Also, due to PCA the two principal components which together explain 34.1% of overall maize yields variability were identified. Both principal components are spatially determined and characterized by different frequency of variation over time. According to the established frequency of oscillation processes, the origin of ecological factors which determine the maize yield variation could be supposed. Larger period of oscillation (10 years) is characteristic for the principal component 2 (PCA 2). PCA 1 has the predominant oscillation process with a frequency of 3 years. Both principal components are characterized by the fading of the oscillation process after 2000 years. This meant, in particular, decreasing the influence of ecological factors on the maize yield over time. It is most likely due to the application of new cultivating technologies or introduction of maize varieties, which are more stable in regards with fluctuations of the environmental factors. The precise definition of the principal components’ origin is planned in our subsequent studies.
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