Special Issue "Sustainable Hazelnut Production"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Thomas J. Molnar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plant Biology Department, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Interests: plant genetics; plant breeding; disease resistance; host plant resistance; nuts; woody ornamental plants
Dr. Ronald Revord
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Interests: plant genetics; plant breeding; disease resistance; agroforestry; micropropagation; host plant resistance; tree nut breeding and genetics
Dr. John M. Capik
Guest Editor
Department of Plant Biology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA
Interests: plant genetics; plant breeding; disease resistance; host plant resistance; nuts

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The demand for hazelnut kernels continues to increase worldwide. They are being used in countless new confectionary products, nut butters and spreads, nut milks, and an assortment of baked goods and other food products. The consumption of hazelnuts as a direct snack food is also on the rise as the public becomes more aware of the health benefits of eating tree nuts and attention is being given to crops grown with lower chemical inputs and reduced environmental impacts. Related to this rise in the demand for hazelnuts is a dramatic recent increase in the planting of new hazelnut orchards in traditional regions, such as Italy and other parts of Europe, the Caucasus, and the Pacific Northwest of North America, where the crop has been grown for many decades. In addition, new plantings are expanding in non-traditional hazelnut growing regions, such as Chile, parts of Eastern Europe, Bhutan, and China, among other places. There are even multiple efforts underway to develop plants adapted to colder regions, such as the eastern, Midwest, and Upper Midwestern United States and southern Ontario, Canada, where not only the harsher climate but also the devastating stem canker disease, eastern filbert blight, adds serious challenges to production. 

Hazelnuts, similar to a number of perennial tree crops, hold many potential benefits, both environmental and economic, that can be exploited if handled appropriately. In fact, based on their many positive attributes, we feel that they hold promise as a truly sustainable crop. For example, hazelnut orchards are very long-lived, 35–50 years or more, which helps build and maintain soils due to the lack of frequent tillage. They can be grown on sloping land unsuitable for annual crops, where their use can aid in soil erosion prevention. Hazelnut crops generally require fewer chemical inputs than most tree fruits and vegetables, and in regions where mechanization is an option, they can greatly reduce the need for hand labor. Unlike some other nut crops, hazelnuts are adapted to humid temperate regions with ample rainfall; thus, in some areas, they can require very little or no supplemental irrigation, meaning that water is generally not a limiting resource. Beyond this, the nuts are highly nutritious and non-perishable with a shelf life of one year or longer, and they have myriad end uses.

Worldwide, demand appears to be continuing to climb as interest in hazelnut products grows and markets are expanded in new locations. This scenario presents even greater opportunities for farmers to plant this low-input yet high-value crop, which, if handled correctly, could equate to a highly sustainable agricultural system. With the increasing worldwide attention and the significant increase in hectares of new orchards being planted, we felt that it is timely to develop a Special Issue dedicated to hazelnuts, which can act as a platform to gather recent knowledge and disseminate it widely. In this Special Issue, contributions from all fields related to hazelnut breeding and genetic improvement, horticulture and agronomics, propagation, pests and diseases and other challenges, post-harvest practices, and marketing and end uses, as well as other topics relevant to overall enhancements in sustainability, best implementations, and uses of this exciting crop are welcome.

Dr. Thomas J. Molnar
Dr. Ronald Revord
Dr. John M. Capik
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • hazelnuts
  • tree nuts
  • perennial crops
  • plant breeding
  • plant genetics
  • genome sequencing
  • genetic diversity
  • horticulture
  • pest and diseases
  • post-harvest
  • cold hardiness
  • eastern filbert blight
  • marketing and economics

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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