Climate influences plant phenological traits, thus playing a key role in defining the geographical range of crops. Foreseeing the impact of climate change on fruit trees is essential to inform policy decisions to guide the adaptation to new climatic conditions. To this end, we propose and use a phenological process-based model to assess the impacts of climate change upon the phenology, the suitability and the distribution of economically important cultivars of peach (Prunus persica), across the entire continental France. The model combines temperature dependent sub-models of dormancy, blooming, fruit survival and ripening, using chilling units, forcing units, frost occurrence and growing degree days, respectively. We find that climate change could have divergent impacts on peach production. On the one hand, blooming would occur earlier, warmer temperatures would decrease spring frost occurrence and fruit ripening would be easily achieved before the start of fall. On the other hand, milder winters would impede the plant buds from breaking endodormancy, with consequent abnormal patterns of fruit development or even blooming failure. This latter impact would dramatically shift the geographic range of sites where peach production will be profitable. This shift would mainly be from the south of France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), to northwestern areas where the winter chilling requirement would still be fulfilled. Our study provides novel insights for understanding and forecasting climate change impacts on peach phenology and it is the first framework that maps the ecological thermal niche of peach at a national level.

Shifts in the thermal niche of fruit trees under climate change: The case of peach cultivation in France

Vanalli C.;Casagrandi R.;Gatto M.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Climate influences plant phenological traits, thus playing a key role in defining the geographical range of crops. Foreseeing the impact of climate change on fruit trees is essential to inform policy decisions to guide the adaptation to new climatic conditions. To this end, we propose and use a phenological process-based model to assess the impacts of climate change upon the phenology, the suitability and the distribution of economically important cultivars of peach (Prunus persica), across the entire continental France. The model combines temperature dependent sub-models of dormancy, blooming, fruit survival and ripening, using chilling units, forcing units, frost occurrence and growing degree days, respectively. We find that climate change could have divergent impacts on peach production. On the one hand, blooming would occur earlier, warmer temperatures would decrease spring frost occurrence and fruit ripening would be easily achieved before the start of fall. On the other hand, milder winters would impede the plant buds from breaking endodormancy, with consequent abnormal patterns of fruit development or even blooming failure. This latter impact would dramatically shift the geographic range of sites where peach production will be profitable. This shift would mainly be from the south of France (Languedoc-Roussillon, Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), to northwestern areas where the winter chilling requirement would still be fulfilled. Our study provides novel insights for understanding and forecasting climate change impacts on peach phenology and it is the first framework that maps the ecological thermal niche of peach at a national level.
2021
blooming time
global warming
peach (Prunus persica)
plant dormancy
plant phenology
Process-based suitability models
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1167849
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