Projecting suitability of kiwifruit by chill requirements for different locations in New Zealand under climate change
Climate change will affect the suitability of land for growing kiwifruit, with impacts varying not only between locations but also between cultivars due to their different climatic requirements. We have developed models to assess the suitability of locations for kiwifruit. We have used these models with climate projection data to forecast and map future suitability changes across New Zealand under different climate-change pathways. The outcomes from the modelling allow us to identify areas that are expected to become less suitable, and also to identify areas where new opportunities for kiwifruit cultivation are likely to arise under different climate-change pathways. A key requirement to successful kiwifruit cultivation is adequate autumn and winter chill for acceptable flowering, and this can be limiting under warming climates. We have developed maps for the mid- and late-century, showing the amount of chill provided by location. This identifies the most appropriate chill characteristics for cultivars for each location, and can guide selection and breeding programmes to future-proof the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.
Vetharaniam, I., van den Dijssel, C., Stanley, J., Richardson, A. and Müller, K. (2022). Projecting suitability of kiwifruit by chill requirements for different locations in New Zealand under climate change. Acta Hortic. 1332, 455-462
winter chill, suitability modelling, climate change adaptation, GIS, cultivar selection