In an agricultural drought risk system, crop drought loss sensitivity evaluation is a fundamental link for quantitative agricultural drought loss risk assessment. Summer maize growth processes under various drought patterns were simulated using the Cropping System Model (CSM)-CERES-maize, which was calibrated and validated based on pit experiments conducted in the Huaibei Plain during 2016 and 2017 seasons. Then S-shaped maize drought loss sensitivity curve was built for fitting the relationship between drought hazard index intensity at a given stage and the corresponding dry matter accumulation and grain yield loss rate, respectively. Drought stress reduced summer maize evapotranspiration, dry matter, and yield accumulation, and the reductions increased with the drought intensity at each stage. Moreover, the losses caused by drought at different stages were significantly different. When maize plants were exposed to a severe water deficit at the jointing stage, the dry matter and grain yield formation were greatly affected. Therefore, maize growth was more sensitive to drought stress at the jointing stage when the stress was serious. Furthermore, when plants encountered a relatively slight drought during the seedling or jointing stage, which represented as a lower soil water deficit intensity, the grain yield loss rates approached the maximum for the sensitivity curves of these two stages. Therefore, summer maize tolerance to water deficit at the seedling and jointing stages were weak, and yield formation was more sensitive to water deficit during these two stages when the deficit was relatively slight.
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