Potential impacts of climate change on vegetable production and product quality – A review


This paper reviews climate change impacts on the production, physiology, yield, and product quality of vegetables affected by shifting CO2 and O3 concentrations, precipitation and temperature conditions, as well as subjected to extreme weather events. The emphasis is on the temperate cool climate of Western Europe. Physiological processes such as respiration and photosynthesis can acclimate to increasing atmospheric CO2 and temperatures. The effect of increased CO2 on vegetables is mostly beneficial for production, but may alter internal product quality, or result in photosynthetic down-regulation. Heat stress reduces fruit set of fruiting vegetables, and speeds up development of determinate vegetables, shortening their time for photoassimilation. In both cases, yield losses result with an impaired product quality, thereby increasing production waste. A longer growing season, arising from warmer temperatures, allows a greater number of plantings to be cultivated, contributing to greater annual yields. However, some vegetables need a period of cold accumulation to produce a harvest. Despite the increasing potential for winter cultivation in the future, perennials like asparagus might increasingly suffer from a lack of winter chilling. In cauliflower, higher temperatures will likely cause insufficient vernalization delaying head induction.

Journal of Cleaner Production, (170), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.09.224