|Authors: ||T.L. Woznicki, O.M. Heide, A. Sønsteby, A.-B. Wold, S.F. Remberg|
|Keywords: ||ascorbic acid, fruit composition, precipitation, Ribes nigrum, temperature, vitamin C|
Berry yield and chemical composition of four commercial black currant cultivars were recorded in a field experiment in Norway over an 8-year period and related by linear regression analysis to temperature and precipitation conditions prevailing during the May-July preharvest period.
Highly significant differences between cultivars and among years were found for all measured parameters.
Fruit dry matter, soluble solids and pH were positively correlated with temperature and negatively correlated with precipitation during May-July, while yield, berry weight, and the concentration of total phenols and ascorbic acid showed the opposite relationship, being highly negatively correlated with temperature and positively correlated with precipitation.
Similar black currant experiments elsewhere in Europe have often given deviating results, varying from opposite to no effects of the same weather variables, suggesting that fruit composition is influenced by several interacting genetic and environmental parameters.
We conclude that differences in local weather and soil conditions and the use of different cultivars complicate direct comparison of such field experiments.
Nevertheless, the observed strong and opposite correlations with precipitation and temperature suggest an inherently low drought tolerance of black currant plants.
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