Warm winters do not necessarily provide adequate cooling to blackcurrants in the UK, which delay the start of the growing season and lead to reduced yields and inferior quality of fruit, researchers have found.
Like many orchards and wood raw materials, blueberries require cooling time before they start growing in the spring. This reduces the risk of splashing into new loops and ensures that the loops quickly explode in the spring and flower together when dusters are abundant.
At a meeting of the British Ecological Association at Birmingham, the James Hutton Institute, the research team underlined that a shorter winter could cause blackcurrant farming to grow later in the year, produce less fruit and reduce the plant life over the years.
"Blackcurrants have particularly high cooling requirements and see the effects of milder winters," says Katharine Preedy Biomathematics and Statistics from Scotland.
For the British economy about £ 10 million a year, blackcurrants are primarily processed as ingredients and juice to major brands such as Ribena (brand value £ 140 million).
It is important for farmers to understand how different types of blackcurrants can react to climate change. Approximately 35% of cultivated crops are known to require 1800 hours of cooling below 7 ° C. However, some varieties need much lower temperatures and others can tolerate warmer temperatures as long as cooling takes longer.
Many farmers co-ordinate processing with apple producers in shared premises, so the delayed black hatching season may force them to eat poorer edible fruit or leave a chance to refine the fruit at all.
"Blackcurrants are like the canary forest of a mine and if we can understand what they need in a changing climate, we can apply our knowledge to similar plants like blueberries, cherries, apples and plums," Preedy added.
To determine the relationship between cooling and cushioning, ecologists performed controlled temperature experiments (at temperatures ranging from -4 ° C to + 8 ° C and up to 150 days) to 20 different blackcurrant cultures. The results were then compared to the temperature data of blackcurrants sent from British farmers and the temperature data of local met office stations.
They found that each blackcurrant species recommended different cooling levels. In addition, some were able to compensate for warmer winter temperatures if they were cooled for long enough, while for other sensitive varieties longer cooling cycles did not compensate for less cold and caused irregular flush.
Differences differ from genetics, as some varieties have developed in different climatic regions or are the result of selective breeding over the years.
"If we can understand this, farmers can carefully choose varieties based on the climate and the conditions in which they are planted, and breeders can develop varieties that are more flexible for both the warmest and the extreme cold," said research partner Professor Hamlyn Jones of Dundee University.
There are currently 12 varieties in the United Kingdom and Ribena is investing in the James Hutton Institute to coordinate the British Blackcurrant Breeding Program. While earlier varieties were produced with hard leather by increasing the storage time, this study demonstrates the ability to develop varieties that are able to cope better with the changing climate.
"In the future, we hope to identify genetic markers related to the ability to withstand changing winters so that we can quickly grow new varieties from blackheads," said Preedy.
Dr. Katharine Preedy presents the group's work on Monday, 17 December 2018 at the British Ecological Society meeting. The conference will gather 1,200 ecologists over 40 countries to discuss the latest studies.
This research is funded by the United Kingdom Innovation Agency Innovate UK and the Scottish Government's Rural and Environmental Matters and Analytical Services (RESAS).
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