Horticultural cropping systems meet scenarios of changing climate

University essay from SLU/Horticulture

Author: Klara Ekengard; [2008]

Keywords: climate change; strawberries; peas; Sweden;

Abstract: This Bsc thesis describes the consequences of a changing climate for Swedish horticultural production on a basis of a literature survey. Climate scenarios from the Swedish governmental inquiry about climate change, SOU 2007:60, are related to Swedish production of peas and strawberries. Plant physiological factors affected by carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and water availability are used to explain growing prerequisites. The general scenario used is: • more yield per hectare and possibilities to grow new products • growing season will be longer • amount of precipitation will increase in most parts of the country but in southern Sweden summers will be dry • more insects and pathogens will be problems in production • weeds will experience better growing circumstances • quality of the product will be affected by pest management and growing velocity • risk of plant nutrient leakage will increase Future climate will affect Swedish production of peas and strawberries. To some extent the explanation for this is to be found in plant physiology, but cropping systems are too complex to give easy solutions. Increase in yield due to temperature rise and CO2 level, predicted by SOU 2007:60, is possible but uncertain in many crops. More research is needed. Water will be limiting in southern Sweden but wet soils can be problematic in other parts. Growing another cultivar or product are good possibilities adjusting to temperature and amount of precipitation. Pea production could move further north in Sweden and more cultivars can be suitable in strawberry production. Climate change will be fast in a historical perspective but awareness in today's society gives good possibilities to develop cropping systems continuously when climatic conditions change.

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