Securing Horticulture in a Changing Climate—A Mini Review


(1) Background: Climate change is on the rise due to continuous greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activities ever since the industrial revolution. Changing weather conditions are likely to have consequences for horticulture. (2) Objective and Methods: A short literature review was conducted, gathering findings on climate change and the impacts on the yield and product quality of special crops. (3) Results: Global warming will result in elevated temperatures and CO2 concentrations in all seasons. Extreme weather events such as heat waves are also on the increase. In vegetables, physiological processes such as vernalization and winter chilling strongly rely on temperature. Therefore, heat stress may cause irregularities in yield production and planning the harvest. For fruit crops, frost poses a risk that is enhanced through climate change, as does a lack of chilling, as cold temperatures in the winter are required for flowering in the spring. Abiotic disorders in horticulture are also related to changing temperatures and humidity. The nutritional quality of special crops may be threatened by increasing rates of plant development and premature ripening at high temperatures. Quality traits such as sugars, acids, or antioxidant capacity may also shift as well. (4) Conclusions: Adapting to these new climate conditions means developing new climate-resilient varieties to maintain high production levels with superior quality. In this mini review, cultivation measures to mitigate adverse climate impacts are also discussed. Current developments and recent findings are presented, pointing out further steps toward adaptation and sustainable production.