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An approach to global warming effects on flowering and fruit set of olive trees growing under field conditions

Benlloch-González, María, Sánchez-Lucas, Rosa, Benlloch, Manuel, Ricardo, Fernández-Escobar
Scientia horticulturae 2018 v.240 pp. 405-410
Olea europaea, air temperature, ambient temperature, flowering date, fructification, fruit set, global warming, night temperature, olives, phenology, pistil, trees
The increase in air temperature associated to climate change is expected to affect olive (Olea europaea L.) tree fructification. To determine the potential effects of global warming on floral phenology and fruit set under field conditions, olive trees growing in a Mediterranean climate type area were subjected to warmer temperature than ambient by the use of temperature controlled Open-top-Chambers (OTCs). Each OTC, equipped with heating and ventilation devices, was able to maintain a day/night temperature gradient between the tree and the surrounding environment of 4 °C throughout the complete reproductive cycle of this species. After three years of study, the results obtained have shown that increasing temperature 4 °C above the actual ambient temperature may led to an advance of the date of flowering in the olive, an extent of the flowering period, an increase of pistil abortion, and a reduction in fruit set, conditions which may reduce yield.