Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316379

Title: Past and future climate patterns affecting temperate, sub-tropical and tropical horticultural crop production

item Glenn, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2015
Publication Date: 8/4/2015
Citation: Glenn, D.M. 2015. Past and future climate patterns affecting temperate, sub-tropical and tropical horticultural crop production [abstract]. American Society for Horticultural Science. p. 56.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Perennial horticultural crop production will be impacted by climate change effects on temperature, water availability, solar radiation, air pollution, and carbon dioxide. Horticultural crop value is derived from both the quantity and the quality of the harvested product; both of which are affected by the climate. Perennial crop production is not easily relocated as the regional climatic characteristics change due to many socio-economic factors including long re-establishment periods, nearness to processing plants, availability of labor, and accessible markets. The literature suggests that the carbon dioxide fertilization effect may positively contribute to yield and persist longer for perennial horticultural crops if nutrients and water availability are not limited and proper management options (e.g., spacing, pruning, thinning) are implemented to take advantage of the carbon dioxide effects. On the contrary, the positive carbon dioxide effect may be negated by the detrimental effects of extreme temperatures on phenology, carbon sinks, reproductive physiology and changes in the disease/pest complex in the agroecosystem that has not relocated to a more optimal climatic region. Case studies of two deciduous temperate fruit crops (apple and grape), two evergreen subtropical crops (citrus and coffee), and two tropical crops (banana/plantain, and cacao) are presented based on literature research to examine past changes and forecasts of the future. Future climate change scenarios are presented to illustrate the potential impact on the existing centers of horticultural production. We conclude that there is a lack of information on the yield and quality responses of perennial horticultural crops to elevate carbon dioxide and the interaction with warming temperatures in order to address the trade-offs of future relocation vs adaptation and mitigation for these intensive and complex cropping systems.