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Sustainable Soil Management in a Changing Climate

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Air, Climate Change and Sustainability".

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Editors


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Collection Editor
Olive Cultivation Lab, Institute of Olive Tree, Subtropical Crops and Viticulture, Hellenic Agricultural Organization DEMETER, (NAGREF), 73134 Chania, Greece
Interests: climate change; agricultural sustainability; circular economy; soil, water and biodiversity conservation; remote sensing; plant breeding; ecosystem services; olive growing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Collection Editor
Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, CSIC, Córdoba, Spain
Interests: soil management; cover crops; modeling; erosion; water; landscape; desertification; GIS
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Collection Editor
Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University and Research, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Interests: unlocking spatial soil management information; assessing viability and sustainability of land management; appreciating land management decisions

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Collection Editor
Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures: Architecture, Environment, and Cultural Heritage (DICEM), University of Basilicata, Potenza, Italy
Interests: soil management; carbon cycle; plant physiology; photosynthesis; ecosystem services

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agriculture plays a vital role in sustaining food security, fostering economic growth, and protecting the environment. Following a period of intensification of production systems during the second half of the twentieth century, we currently face the consequences manifesting through degradation of soil and water, decline in biodiversity, and anthropogenic climate changes. Incidents of extreme drought, flood, eutrophication, salinization, nitrification, and species extinction are in the daily agenda at a global level.

Adopting sustainable crop and forest management is suggested as the only way to mitigate the impacts of past over-intensive land use schemes and adaptation to changing climatic conditions. This Topical Collection will present the latest research findings related to good practices in crop and forest management and provide insights about human–agroecosystem interaction, ecosystem services, climate change mitigation and adaptation, soil microorganisms, and water cycle towards the establishment of a long-term balanced and resilient coexistence of humanity, plants, animals, and our environment.

Original research papers as well as review articles are welcome. Works recently presented in relevant conferences but not published elsewhere will be considered for inclusion in this ambitious initiative.

Dr. Georgios Koubouris
Dr. José Alfonso Gómez
Dr. Luuk Fleskens
Prof. Giuseppe Montanaro
Collection 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 submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection 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 2400 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.

Keywords

  • climate change
  • circular economy
  • soil
  • water
  • biodiversity
  • remote sensing
  • ecosystem services
  • GIS
  • remote sensing

Published Papers (10 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021, 2020

12 pages, 2472 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Olive Varieties Resistance for Sustainable Management of Verticillium Wilt
by Emmanouil A. Markakis, Nikolaos Krasagakis, Ioanna Manolikaki, Anastasia A. Papadaki, Georgios Kostelenos and Georgios Koubouris
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9342; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159342 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2152
Abstract
Verticillium wilt resulting from infection by Verticillium dahliae is one of the most devastating soilborne fungi of the olive tree (Olea europaea L.) worldwide. The pathogen infects a wide variety of plants and can survive in the soil for many years, and [...] Read more.
Verticillium wilt resulting from infection by Verticillium dahliae is one of the most devastating soilborne fungi of the olive tree (Olea europaea L.) worldwide. The pathogen infects a wide variety of plants and can survive in the soil for many years, and chemicals cannot control it. Therefore, sustainable disease management strategies are suggested, with the exploitation of host resistance as the most predominant control measure in practice. In addition, disease risk assessment in commonly used plant genotypes is a prominent issue. In this respect, nine commercially grown Greek olive varieties (‘Amfissis’, ‘Atsiholou’, ‘Chalkidikis’, ‘Koroneiki’, ‘Kothreiki’, ‘Koutsourelia’, ‘Mastoidis’, ‘Megaritiki’, and ‘Tragolia’) and one variety of international interest (‘Picual’) were comparatively evaluated for their resistance to V. dahliae. The roots of young plants were immersed in a concentrated conidial suspension in order to perform an artificial inoculation. We evaluated disease reactions in a 140-day assessment period based on external symptoms (disease severity, disease incidence, and mortality) and calculated the relative areas under disease progress curves (relative AUDPC). The process of qPCR was used to evaluate V. dahliae DNA in vascular tissues and plant growth parameters (height and fresh weight). A cumulative stress response was calculated to consider the overall effect of V. dahliae on olive cultivars. The olive varieties resistance to V. dahliae varied significantly, with ‘Koroneiki’, ‘Tragolia’, and ‘Atsiholou’ being the most resistant. Interestingly, most tested varieties showed a significantly low resistance level, suggesting increased risk for the Greek olive industry due to V. dahliae. Full article
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20 pages, 4369 KiB  
Article
Generation of Potential Sites for Sustainable Water Harvesting Techniques in Oum Zessar Watershed, South East Tunisia
by Mohamed Arbi Abdeladhim, Luuk Fleskens, Jantiene Baartman, Mongi Sghaier, Mohamed Ouessar and Coen J. Ritsema
Sustainability 2022, 14(10), 5754; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14105754 - 10 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
Water harvesting techniques (WHTs) are important climate change adaptation measures to better manage rainwater for domestic and agricultural purposes, but which WHT to plan where is subject to sustainability considerations. Moreover, suitability of different WHTs varies from one location to another, depending on [...] Read more.
Water harvesting techniques (WHTs) are important climate change adaptation measures to better manage rainwater for domestic and agricultural purposes, but which WHT to plan where is subject to sustainability considerations. Moreover, suitability of different WHTs varies from one location to another, depending on physical and socio-economic conditions. This study aimed to identify suitable sites for WHTs taking into account stakeholders’ sustainability criteria. In a participatory assessment framework, Geographic Information Systems and the “Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique” were combined to generate suitability maps and to guide sustainable WHTs investments. Steps included the calculation of a sustainability index for a set of traditional and newly introduced WHTs from the perspective of two stakeholder groups, farmers and decision-makers, and its integration with layers of biophysical constraints. An application of the framework in the Oum Zessar watershed, southeast Tunisia, shows that traditional techniques are the most suitable and sustainable for farmers and fall within the highly suitable class in 76.4% of the total area, while decision-makers prefer innovative techniques that are highly suitable in 80.4% of the watershed. The framework offers a scalable transparent process for knowledge integration in support of WHT investment decisions that can be adapted to other dryland areas. Full article
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20 pages, 4767 KiB  
Article
The Potential Impact of Climate Extremes on Cotton and Wheat Crops in Southern Punjab, Pakistan
by Muhammad Asgher Ali, Mujtaba Hassan, Mazhar Mehmood, Dildar Hussain Kazmi, Farrukh Ahmed Chishtie and Imran Shahid
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031609 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5789
Abstract
The assessment of climate extremes’ impact on crop yield is essential to improve our understanding of agricultural resilience. In the present study, we analyzed the potential impact of climate extremes on wheat and cotton production in Southern Punjab, Pakistan using 30-year observed data [...] Read more.
The assessment of climate extremes’ impact on crop yield is essential to improve our understanding of agricultural resilience. In the present study, we analyzed the potential impact of climate extremes on wheat and cotton production in Southern Punjab, Pakistan using 30-year observed data from the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) and the fifth-generation reanalysis data (ERA-5) from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Cotton is a Kharif season crop that is sown in May and harvested in October, and wheat is a Rabi season crop that is planted in November and harvested in April. The agricultural data (1985–2015) that contained the crop area and crop yield were obtained from the Bureau of Statistics, Punjab for six selected districts in Southern Punjab. Three precipitation indices, namely consecutive dry days (CDD), consecutive wet days (CWD) and total precipitation of wet days (PRCPTOT), and four temperature indices, namely warm days (TX90p), warm nights (TN90p), cool days (TX10p) and cool nights (TN10p), were selected to analyze the potential impacts of climate extremes on crop production. (1) We found a potential association of TX10p, TN10p, TX90p and TN90p with crop yield in those years for which the production area remained the same. (2) In a few districts of the study area, the wheat yield losses in the Rabi season were associated with an increase in warmer days and warmer nights. (3) The grain size was suppressed due to an increase in the frequency of TX90p and TN90p, which ultimately reduced the net crop production. (4) In some districts, we found strong positive correlations between extreme temperature indices and crop yield; however, other potential factors such as the use of advanced technology, fertilizer, seeds, etc., may lead to improved net production. This study can help in adaptation planning for resilient agricultural production under the stress of climate extreme events in Southern Punjab. Full article
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17 pages, 3380 KiB  
Article
Hyperspectral Imagery Detects Water Deficit and Salinity Effects on Photosynthesis and Antioxidant Enzyme Activity of Three Greek Olive Varieties
by Blagoja Boshkovski, Georgios Doupis, Anhelina Zapolska, Chariton Kalaitzidis and Georgios Koubouris
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031432 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3429
Abstract
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is one of the main crops of the Mediterranean region which suffers from drought and soil salinization. We assessed the photosynthetic rate, leaf water content and antioxidative enzyme activity (APX, GPX, SOD and CAT) of three [...] Read more.
The olive tree (Olea europaea L.) is one of the main crops of the Mediterranean region which suffers from drought and soil salinization. We assessed the photosynthetic rate, leaf water content and antioxidative enzyme activity (APX, GPX, SOD and CAT) of three Greek olive cultivars (‘Amfisis’, ‘Mastoidis’ and ‘Lefkolia Serron’) subjected to drought and salinity stresses. Hyperspectral reflectance data were acquired using an analytical spectral device (ASD) FieldSpec® 3 spectroradiometer, while principal component regression, partial least squares regression and linear discriminant analysis were used to estimate the relationship between spectral and physiological measurements. The photosynthetic rate and water content of stressed plants decreased, while enzyme activity had an increasing tendency. ‘Amfisis’ was more resistant to drought and salinity stress than ‘Mastoidis’ and ‘Lefkolia Serron’. The NDVI appeared to have the highest correlation with the photosynthetic rate, followed by the PRI. APX enzyme activity was the most highly correlated with the 1150–1370 nm range, with an additional peak at 1840 nm. CAT enzyme activity resulted in the highest correlation with the visible part of the spectrum with two peaks at 1480 nm and 1950 nm, while GPX enzyme activity appeared to have a strong correlation within all the available spectral ranges except for 670–1180 nm. Finally, SOD activity showed high correlation values within 1190–1850 nm. This is the first time the correlation of hyperspectral imagery with photosynthetic rate and antioxidant enzyme activities was determined, providing the background for high-throughput plant phenotyping through a drone with a hyperspectral camera. This progress would provide the possibility of early stress detection in large olive groves and assist farmers in decision making and optimizing crop management, health and productivity. Full article
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16 pages, 2834 KiB  
Article
Effect of Marginal-Quality Irrigation on Accumulation of some Heavy Metals (Mn, Pb, and Zn) in TypicTorripsamment Soils and Food Crops
by Ahmed S. Abuzaid, Mohamed A. Abdel-Salam, Abeer F. Ahmad, Hala A. Fathy, Mohamed E. Fadl and Antonio Scopa
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031067 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2489
Abstract
Lack of active sorption sites in sandy soils renders metals added by irrigation water more labile and increases their soil-to-plant transfer. Thus, this study investigated the long-term impacts of irrigation using sewage effluents and contaminated groundwater on metal accumulations in TypicTorripsamment soils, and [...] Read more.
Lack of active sorption sites in sandy soils renders metals added by irrigation water more labile and increases their soil-to-plant transfer. Thus, this study investigated the long-term impacts of irrigation using sewage effluents and contaminated groundwater on metal accumulations in TypicTorripsamment soils, and edible parts of food crops. Nine sites in El-Gabal El-Asfar farm, south-eastern to the Nile Delta of Egypt, were selected. At each site, irrigation water, soil (0–30 cm), and the crop’s edible part were sampled in triplicates and analyzed for Mn, Pb, and Zn. Results revealed significant (p < 0.05) differences in metal concentrations among water sources. Thus, constant irrigation caused significant spatial variations in total and available metal contents in soils. Total contents of Pb (in four sites) and Zn (in all sites) exceed the lithosphere range, while the available contents of the three metals exceeded the safe limits in all soils. The index of geo-accumulation indicated no Mn pollution but showed elevated pollution risks for Pb and Zn. The three metals showed high availability ratios, proving the effect of light soil texture. The multivariate statistical analysis indicated that Mn and Zn had similar geochemical behaviors in soils. Metal contents in all crop’s edible parts surpassed the safe limits. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was less than 1.0 for Mn and Zn but higher than 1.0 for Pb. The highest BAFs occurred in cabbage leaves, indicating the phytoextraction potential of this species. Sufficient water treatment and proper remediation techniques are recommended to alleviate metal accumulation in food crops and their transfer via the food chain. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022, 2020

21 pages, 14814 KiB  
Article
Optimized Land Use through Integrated Land Suitability and GIS Approach in West El-Minia Governorate, Upper Egypt
by Yasser M. Zakarya, Mohamed M. Metwaly, Mohamed A. E. AbdelRahman, Mohamed R. Metwalli and Georgios Koubouris
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 12236; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132112236 - 5 Nov 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2886
Abstract
Land evaluation is imperative for its efficient use in agriculture. Therefore, this study aimed at assessing the suitability of a region in West El-Minia for cultivating some of the major crops using the geographical information system (GIS). The results focus on allocating space [...] Read more.
Land evaluation is imperative for its efficient use in agriculture. Therefore, this study aimed at assessing the suitability of a region in West El-Minia for cultivating some of the major crops using the geographical information system (GIS). The results focus on allocating space for cultivating sugar beet and utilizing the free period of sugar beet in other crops. This exploitation helps to maintain the quality of the land and increase its fertility by using crop rotation with integrated agricultural management. A machine learning technique was implemented using the random forest algorithm (RF) to predict soil suitability classes for sugar beet using geomorphology, terrain attribute and remote sensing data. Fifteen major crops were evaluated using a suitability multicriteria approach in GIS environment for crop rotation decisions. Soil parameters were determined (soil depth, pH, texture, CaCO3, drainage, ECe, and slope) to characterize the land units for soil suitability. Soils of the area were found to be Entisols; Typic Torrifluvents, Typic Torripsamments and Typic Torriorthents and Aridsols; Typic Haplocacids, Calcic Haplosalids and Sodic Haplocalcids. Overall, the studied area was classified into four suitability classes: high “S1”, moderate “S2”, marginal “S3”, and not suitable “N”. The area of each suitability class changed depending on the crop tested. The highest two crops that occupied S1 class were barley with 471.5 ha (representing 6.8% of the total study area) and alfalfa with 157.4 ha (2.3%). In addition, barley, sugar beet, and sorghum occupied the highest areas in S2 class with 6415.3 ha (92.5%), 6111.3 ha (88.11%) and 6111.3 ha (88.1%), respectively. Regarding the S3 class, three different crops (sesame, green pepper, and maize) were the most highly represented by 6151.8 ha (88.7%), 6126.3 ha (88.3%), and 6116.7 ha (88.2%), respectively. In the end, potato and beans occupied the highest areas in N class with 6916.9 ha (99.7%) and 6853.5 ha (98.8%), respectively. The results revealed that the integration of GIS and soil suitability system consists of an appropriate approach for the evaluation of suitable crop rotations for optimized land use planning and to prevent soil degradation. The study recommends using crop rotation, as it contributes to soil sustainability and the control of plant pests and diseases, where the succession of agricultural crops on a scientific basis aims at maintaining the balance of nutrients and fertilizers in the soil. Full article
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14 pages, 2290 KiB  
Review
Carbon Fluxes in Sustainable Tree Crops: Field, Ecosystem and Global Dimension
by Giuseppe Montanaro, Davide Amato, Nunzio Briglia, Carlo Russo and Vitale Nuzzo
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8750; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168750 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
Carbon (C) budget at cropping systems has not only agronomic but also environmental relevance because of their contribution to both emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Ideally, sustainable orchards are expected to remove atmospheric CO2 at a rate greater than that [...] Read more.
Carbon (C) budget at cropping systems has not only agronomic but also environmental relevance because of their contribution to both emissions and removals of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Ideally, sustainable orchards are expected to remove atmospheric CO2 at a rate greater than that of the emissions because of (i) optimized biology of the system and (ii) reduced on-site/offsite inputs sourced by the technosphere. However, such a computation might produce inconsistent results and in turn biased communication on sustainability of the cropping systems because C accounting framework(s) are used under unclear context. This study examined the sustainability of orchards in terms of impact on GHGs focusing its significance at the field, ecosystem and global dimension analyzing some operational aspects and limitations of existing frameworks (e.g., net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB), life cycle assessment (LCA)). Global relevance of sustainable orchard was also discussed considering the C sequestration at cropland as instructed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The uniqueness of olive tree lifespan duration and C sequestration is discussed within the Product Environmental Footprint of agrifood product. The paper also highlighted overlapping components among the NECB, LCA and IPCC frameworks and the need for an integrated C accounting scheme for a more comprehensive and detailed mapping of sustainability in agriculture. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2022, 2021

13 pages, 11175 KiB  
Article
Deciphering Soil Spatial Variability through Geostatistics and Interpolation Techniques
by Mohamed A. E. AbdelRahman, Yasser M. Zakarya, Mohamed M. Metwaly and Georgios Koubouris
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010194 - 28 Dec 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4105
Abstract
Detailed knowledge of soil properties is fundamentally important for optimizing agriculture practices and management. Meanwhile, the spatial distribution of soil physicochemical properties is considered a fundamental input of any sustainable agricultural planning. In the present study, ordinary kriging, regression kriging and IDW were [...] Read more.
Detailed knowledge of soil properties is fundamentally important for optimizing agriculture practices and management. Meanwhile, the spatial distribution of soil physicochemical properties is considered a fundamental input of any sustainable agricultural planning. In the present study, ordinary kriging, regression kriging and IDW were chosen for deciphering soil spatial variability and mapping soil properties in a reclaimed area of the Behera Governorate of Egypt where soil arose from two different types, one sandstone and the other limestone. Geostatistics were used to show the interrelationships and conditions of soil properties (available phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, EC, pH, Sp, ESP, CEC, OC, SAR, and CaCO3). The results of mapping spatial soil variability by Geostatistics could be used for precision agriculture applications. Based on the soil test results, nutrient management recommendations should be applied regarding variable rates of fertilizers. The performance of the maps was evaluated using Mean square error (MSE). Inverse distance weight (IDW) showed higher efficiency than Kriging as a prediction method for mapping the studied soil properties in the study area. The results of the present study suggest that the application of the selected fit model worldwide in any relevant study of soil properties of different geological sources is feasible. Full article
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19 pages, 1221 KiB  
Article
Eco-Friendly Yield and Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Affected by Fertilization Type in a Tropical Smallholder Rice System, Ghana
by Kofi Konadu Boateng, George Yaw Obeng and Ebenezer Mensah
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10239; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410239 - 8 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2541
Abstract
Data on greenhouse gas emission levels associated with fertilization applied in smallholder paddy rice farms in Ghana are scanty. The current study investigated fertilization types to determine their eco-friendliness on yield, Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Greenhouse Gas Intensity (GHGI) in a major [...] Read more.
Data on greenhouse gas emission levels associated with fertilization applied in smallholder paddy rice farms in Ghana are scanty. The current study investigated fertilization types to determine their eco-friendliness on yield, Global Warming Potential (GWP) and Greenhouse Gas Intensity (GHGI) in a major rice season in the forest zone of Ghana. In total, five treatments were studied viz Farmer Practice (BAU); Biochar + Farmer Practice (BAU + BIO); Poultry Manure + Farmer Practice (BAU + M); Biochar + Poultry Manure + Farmer Practice (BAU + BIO + M); and Control (CT). Fluxes of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) were measured using a static chamber-gas chromatography method. N2O emissions at the end of the growing season were significantly different across treatments. BAU + BIO + M had highest N2O flux mean of 0.38 kgNha−1day−1 (±0.18). BAU + M had the second highest N2O flux of 0.27 kgNha−1day−1 (±0.08), but was not significantly different from BAU at p > 0.05. BAU+BIO recorded 0.20 kgNha−1day−1 (±0.12), lower and significantly different from BAU, BAU + M and BAU + BIO + M. CH4 emissions across treatments were not significantly different. However, highest CH4 flux was recorded in BAU+BIO at 4.76 kgCH4ha−1day−1 (±4.87). GWP based on seasonal cumulative GHG emissions among treatments ranged from 5099.16 (±6878.43) to 20894.58 (±19645.04) for CH4 and 756.28 (±763.44) to 27201.54 (±9223.51) kgCO2eqha−1Season−1 for N2O. The treatment with significantly higher yield and low emissions was BAU + M with a GHGI of 4.38 (±1.90) kgCO2eqkg−1. Full article
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14 pages, 2525 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Low Temperature on Physiological, Biochemical and Flowering Functions of Olive Tree in Relation to Genotype
by Niki Mougiou, Boushra Baalbaki, Georgios Doupis, Nektarios Kavroulakis, Stylianos Poulios, Konstantinos E. Vlachonasios and Georgios C. Koubouris
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10065; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310065 - 2 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3494
Abstract
Olive tree growth and reproduction are severely affected by temperature extremes, compromising fruit yield. In that aspect, the olive varieties “Koroneiki” and “Mastoidis” were employed in a mild cold stress experiment, imitating night frost incidents to assess their biochemical, physiological and reproductive functions [...] Read more.
Olive tree growth and reproduction are severely affected by temperature extremes, compromising fruit yield. In that aspect, the olive varieties “Koroneiki” and “Mastoidis” were employed in a mild cold stress experiment, imitating night frost incidents to assess their biochemical, physiological and reproductive functions in relation to genotype. The physiological performance of the stressed plants was not significantly altered, suggesting that both cultivars were well adapted to mild cold night stress. The biochemical response of the plants, regarding antioxidant enzymes, H2O2 and TBARS accumulation, confirmed that both cultivars could cope with the stress applied. The mRNA levels of the PPO gene, which participates in hydroxytyrosol biosynthesis and plant defense, were elevated after 24-h stress at 0 °C, in both cultivars with “Mastoidis” plants exhibiting higher levels for a longer period. Three more genes involved in hydroxytyrosol biosynthesis upregulated their expression levels as a response to cold stress. The numerous plant phenology aspects measured reinforced the conclusion that both cultivars responded to the stress applied. The results of the present study may contribute to better understanding olive tree adaptive responses to low temperature events, an abiotic stress condition that is often present in an open plantation, thus assisting farmers on breeding and cultivar selection. Full article
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