Europe is one of the leading countries for almond consumption, however, its record for production was lost several decades ago. Although the USA is nowadays the first producing country, the last drought seasons occurred in California threatened the maintenance of almond production. Several mitigation and adaptation activities should be undertaken in order to cope with this issue. The present study reports the results of 7 years of observations performed on 86 Italian (most of all from Apulia), 44 foreign almond cultivars and 71 hybrids having local or foreign cultivars as parental. The trial was carried out on trees grafted on seedling and managed according to the principles of Dry Farming Practices (DFP), without any irrigation supply. Productivity (average and cumulative production of almonds with and without shell per tree) and commodities-related (nut and kernel weights, percentage of tween and aborted kernels) variables were measured and data were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA). PCA revealed that two factors explained more than 60% of variance; Factor 1 (~50% of variance) and Factor 3 (11% of variance) were defined by the productivity and commodities-related variables, respectively. Under DFP condition local cultivars and the deriving hybrids, appeared more performing for the productivity features than the foreign ones, resulting less prone to be cultivated in water limiting conditions. A clear separation between local and foreign cultivars for Factor 3 was not recorded. This poly-annual study highlights the important role of biodiversity in the climate change adaptation strategies, in order to reach an environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture.

The use of local promising almond cultivars as an adaptation strategy against water scarcity

Losciale, P.
;
2017

Abstract

Europe is one of the leading countries for almond consumption, however, its record for production was lost several decades ago. Although the USA is nowadays the first producing country, the last drought seasons occurred in California threatened the maintenance of almond production. Several mitigation and adaptation activities should be undertaken in order to cope with this issue. The present study reports the results of 7 years of observations performed on 86 Italian (most of all from Apulia), 44 foreign almond cultivars and 71 hybrids having local or foreign cultivars as parental. The trial was carried out on trees grafted on seedling and managed according to the principles of Dry Farming Practices (DFP), without any irrigation supply. Productivity (average and cumulative production of almonds with and without shell per tree) and commodities-related (nut and kernel weights, percentage of tween and aborted kernels) variables were measured and data were subjected to Principal Component Analysis (PCA). PCA revealed that two factors explained more than 60% of variance; Factor 1 (~50% of variance) and Factor 3 (11% of variance) were defined by the productivity and commodities-related variables, respectively. Under DFP condition local cultivars and the deriving hybrids, appeared more performing for the productivity features than the foreign ones, resulting less prone to be cultivated in water limiting conditions. A clear separation between local and foreign cultivars for Factor 3 was not recorded. This poly-annual study highlights the important role of biodiversity in the climate change adaptation strategies, in order to reach an environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/230210
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