Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 9, Issue 2,2011
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

The influence of climate change on the beginning of spring season and apple tree (Malus domestica Borkh) phenology in Lithuania during the period 1971–2000


Danuta Romanovskaja, Eugenija Baksiene

Recieved Date: 2011-01-10, Accepted Date: 2011-03-29


The objective of the current study was to determine the influence of climate change on the beginning of apple tree flowering in Lithuania and explore the suitability of spring plants’ phenophases for the prediction of apple tree flowering. Variable weather conditions in winter predetermine the phenophase development of Corylus avellana L. and Alnus incana Moench. that are plant indicators of early spring and begin flowering on March 23–27; the changeability of weather conditions in winter leads to large annual fluctuations. For true and late spring indicators Betula pendula Roth., Padus avium Mill. and Malus domestica Borkh. the fluctuations in the start dates of phenophases decreased twice. During the 30-year period, the start dates of all three spring periods advanced by -0.35 to -0.54 days per year. A very evident advance was noted for early spring start dates (-4.66 to -4.82 days per year). The air temperature regime of early spring predetermines the beginning of the apple tree flowering (r = 0.71). As a result, depending on the weather changes during this month, the start date of apple tree flowering could also change. We estimated a predictable start date of apple tree flowering based on the data of the start dates of phenophases of indicator plants of true spring. A short interphase duration (5-14 days) between Malus domestica Borkh. start of flowering and Betula pendula Roth., as well as Padus avium Mill. phenophases determines stronger correlations (r = 0.80-0.91), which confirm the suitability of these indicator plants for being used for apple tree flowering prediction.


Indicator plants, spring periods, apple tree, phenological prediction

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2011
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Category: Environment
Pages: 735-739

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