Student scholarship: ‘Orcharding the Future: the influence of temperature on pome fruit flowering across Australia’ (AP13023)
What was it all about?
This project which ran from 2012 to 2013, supported completion of a Masters research project which investigated the differences in green tip timing – one of the earliest stages of flowering development – between bud types and potential temperature drivers.
The Masters student carried out the research on Cripps Pink apple in Victoria through the University of Melbourne’s School of Land and Environment at the Dookie Campus.
The research revealed that there was a consistent relationship between date of green tip and winter temperature. The cooler sites at Shepparton and Applethorpe had the earliest dates of green tip while the warmer Manjimup sites had the latest dates of green tip.
This pattern was seen across all locations for the warmer winter season of 2013 compared with 2012.
The results from this study help to further understand the relationships between winter temperatures and green tip in Cripps Pink apple, which will be crucial in predicting changes that lie ahead for apple production due to climate change.
Changes in climate conditions may influence the timing of flowering, which could increase harvesting costs if variability of fruit maturation requires more picks.
In addition, cross-pollination could be affected if varieties that pollinate each other have different flowering times.
Scholarship assistance for projects such as this one also provides broader benefits including boosting capacity for the apple and pear industry as well as knowledge of the industry among graduates, and greater connection to university academics.
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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