|Authors: ||P. Palencia, F. Martínez, J.J. Medina, E. Vázquez, F. Flores, J. López-Medina|
|Keywords: || Fragaria x ananassa, temperature, fruit yield, crop cycle, methyl bromide|
The impact the future climatic conditions may have on agricultural productivity depends on the sensitivity to each environmental factor and the relative changes in temperature, precipitation, EV-B radiation, and atmospheric CO2 concentration (Olesen and Bindi, 2002). The strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) is a microclimatic crop cultivated almost worldwide, and Spain is the world’s second largest strawberry producer after the USA. Huelva is Spain’s leading agricultural region, with about 6,800 ha dedicated to strawberry production, yielding 312,065 t of strawberries per year.
Of these, 80% are exported (MAPA, 2008). Strawberry production in Huelva has been affected by climate change in recent decades.
The climatic conditions can vary considerably throughout the crop season.
Temperature is a limiting factor in crop productivity and a considerable amount of research has been conducted on the individual effects of this factor on crop yield.
The aim of this work is to assess the possible effects of increased temperature on strawberry production and crop cycle duration.
The study was carried out in commercial strawberry fruit production fields on the Huelva region (southwest coast). Fresh dug plants of cv. ‘Camarosa’ were planted.
The study was repeated three times (between 2003 and 2006). Early and total strawberry production (g plant-1) was recorded weekly from January until March and from January until May respectively.
There was a quadratic relationship between early production and temperature (R2=0.86), and between total production and temperature (R2=0.69). Our estimates suggest that strawberry production could be affected by climate change.
Due to the relationship between the rate of production and temperature, climate change scenarios were found to result in reductions in crop cycle duration.
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