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Modelling Climate Suitability for Rainfed Maize Cultivation in Kenya Using a Maximum Entropy (MaxENT) Approach

1
School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
2
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Bundaberg, QLD 4670, Australia
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Agronomy 2019, 9(11), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9110727
Received: 8 August 2019 / Revised: 4 November 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
Climate change and variability are projected to alter the geographic suitability of lands for crop cultivation. In many developing countries, such as Kenya, information on the mean changes in climate is limited. Therefore, in this study, we model the current and future changes in areas suitable for rainfed maize production in the country using a maximum entropy (MaxENT) model. Maize is by far a major staple food crop in Kenya. We used maize occurrence location data and bioclimatic variables for two climatic scenarios-Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 from two general circulation models (HadGEM2-ES and CCSM4) for 2070. The study identified the annual mean temperature, annual precipitation and the mean temperature of the wettest quarter as the major variables that affect the distribution of maize. Simulation results indicate an average increase of unsuitable areas of between 1.9–3.9% and a decrease of moderately suitable areas of 14.6–17.5%. The change in the suitable areas is an increase of between 17–20% and in highly suitable areas of 9.6% under the climatic scenarios. The findings of this study are of utmost importance to the country as they present an opportunity for policy makers to develop appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies required to sustain maize production under future climates. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; maize; geographic suitability; bioclimatic variables; MaxENT climate change; maize; geographic suitability; bioclimatic variables; MaxENT
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kogo, B.K.; Kumar, L.; Koech, R.; Kariyawasam, C.S. Modelling Climate Suitability for Rainfed Maize Cultivation in Kenya Using a Maximum Entropy (MaxENT) Approach. Agronomy 2019, 9, 727. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9110727

AMA Style

Kogo BK, Kumar L, Koech R, Kariyawasam CS. Modelling Climate Suitability for Rainfed Maize Cultivation in Kenya Using a Maximum Entropy (MaxENT) Approach. Agronomy. 2019; 9(11):727. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9110727

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kogo, Benjamin K., Lalit Kumar, Richard Koech, and Champika S. Kariyawasam. 2019. "Modelling Climate Suitability for Rainfed Maize Cultivation in Kenya Using a Maximum Entropy (MaxENT) Approach" Agronomy 9, no. 11: 727. https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9110727

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