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Water 2014, 6(6), 1562-1580;

Future Climate Forcings and Olive Yield in a Mediterranean Orchard

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, Aerospaziale, dei Materiali, Università di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Ed. 8, Palermo 90128, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 February 2014 / Revised: 22 May 2014 / Accepted: 26 May 2014 / Published: 30 May 2014
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The olive tree is one of the most characteristic rainfed trees in the Mediterranean region. Observed and forecasted climate modifications in this region, such as the CO2 concentration and temperature increase and the net radiation, rainfall and wind speed decrease, will likely alter vegetation water stress and modify productivity. In order to simulate how climatic change could alter soil moisture dynamic, biomass growth and fruit productivity, a water-driven crop model has been used in this study. The numerical model, previously calibrated on an olive orchard located in Sicily (Italy) with a satisfactory reproduction of historical olive yield data, has been forced with future climate scenarios generated using a stochastic weather generator and a downscaling procedure of an ensemble of climate model outputs. The stochastic downscaling is carried out using simulations of some General Circulation Models adopted in the fourth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report (4AR) for future scenarios. The outcomes state that climatic forcings driving potential evapotranspiration compensate for each other, resulting in a slight increase of this water demand flux; moreover, the increase of CO2 concentration leads to a potential assimilation increase and, consequently, to an overall productivity increase in spite of the growth of water stress due to the rainfall reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop model; climate change; stochastic downscaling; olive yield crop model; climate change; stochastic downscaling; olive yield

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Viola, F.; Caracciolo, D.; Pumo, D.; Noto, L.V.; Loggia, G.L. Future Climate Forcings and Olive Yield in a Mediterranean Orchard. Water 2014, 6, 1562-1580.

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