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2023 Speakers

Gabriela Calvo

Gabriela Calvo, Speaker at plant biology conferences
INTA, Argentina
Title : Overcoming climate change in pome fruit production

Abstract:

A clear indicator that climate change is occurring is the presence of extreme events, unusual events of great intensity that are increasing its frequency. In the region of the north Patagonian valleys, the main producing area of ??pome fruits in Argentina, this was evidenced by the increase in the number of days with rain during spring, the increase in hail storm frequency and the increase in absolute maximum temperatures. These climatic changes generate anomalies in fruit development, modifying ripening and storage condition, as well as their subsequent commercialization. In order to reduce the vulnerability of production system, it is vital to have technical tools to mitigate the effects of climate changes and to have reliable information that facilitates decision-making. During last years, the effects of climate on maturity and development of diseases and disorders of fruits was studied at the experimental station of INTA in Río Negro. The implementation of a Regional Maturity Program allows us to adjust the beginning of harvest, guaranteeing physiological maturity of fruits, according to weather conditions of each productive season. Also, the Program monitors fruit quality during harvest time, providing technical recommendations for post-harvest management. This season, a higher incidence of disorders related to the decrease in production generated by spring frosts and hail was observed. In turn, this season there was an early development and a higher incidence of water core associated with a period of time with maximum temperatures above historical average during fruit ripening. As well as an increase in cracking caused by a greater rainfall between November and February. Changes in the frequency of hailstorms motivated research on anti-hail net effects on fruit quality. In recent years, the implementation of hail-nets in pear and apple local orchards has increased markedly, going from 690 hectares in 2017 to above 2,800 hectares in 2022. The use of nets provides protection against hail and reduces sun damage and mechanical damage caused by wind. Two fundamental aspects should be considered to select the type of net: susceptibility to sun damage and the ability for color development of the plant material. Under a predicted scenario of climate change, the need for adaptation is clear if the Argentine pome fruit industry is to survive. A plan based on strategic scientific assessment of such impacts should be quantified with adaptation and mitigation approaches, such as using nets to protect fruit crops and generating information to mitigate or overcome climate changes

Biography:

Dr. Gabriela Calvo studied agronomic engineering at University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and then graduated as M.S. in 2008. She received her Ph.D. degree in Agricultural Sciences in 2016 at the same institution.  She is a Post-Harvest Research Technician at INTA Alto Valle, since 1993.  She has focused her work on the development of integrated systems for the control of physiological disorders in pears and apples. Her research lines are related to the evaluation of new technologies for the preservation of pome fruit trees and studies on the physiology of pome fruit in order to find alternatives to traditional preservations products with less impact on the environment and people’s health. She has published more than 70 research articles in SCI(E) journals.

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