Sweet cherry phenology in the context of climate change: a systems biology approach

B. Wenden, M. Mariadassou
In temperate fruit trees, most key phenological stages are highly dependent on environmental conditions. In particular, correct timing for dormancy and flowering is essential to ensure good fruit production and quality. Consequently, a swiftly-changing environment will put temperate fruit crops at risk in the coming decades. Global changes in environmental conditions include warmer winters and higher risks of frosts in the early spring, which may lead to a wide range of problems in relation to flower and fruit set, sun-scald, cross-pollination or novel host-pest interactions. In addition, hotter summers might affect fruit development and dormancy onset. Considering the time necessary to breed new cultivars better adapted to future climatic conditions, one of the strategies is to develop a predictive tool as a support for simulating the behaviour of ideotypes in the context of warmer climatic scenarios. Here, we present a collection of sweet cherry flowering data from European sites. Statistical analyses conducted on 'Burlat' flowering dates collected in Bordeaux reveal the key periods for chill and heat accumulation during dormancy. Additionally, we propose a way of combining different data and approaches, and integrate them into a predictive model as an assisting tool for sweet cherry breeding strategies.
Wenden, B. and Mariadassou, M. 2017. Sweet cherry phenology in the context of climate change: a systems biology approach. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1162:31-38
Prunus avium L., flowering time, partial least square regression (PLSR), modelling