EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON SPICES AND PLANTATION CROPS

Due to decrease in annual rainfall and fluctuation in day temperature, there is decreasing trend in most of the spices crop such as in cardamom, seed spices, and black pepper growing areas (Datta, 2013; Muthusami et al., 2012). Indian pepper production has been declining rapidly in the past 10 years due to effect of climate change (Malhotra, 2017). Vagaries in rain caused tremendous problem in saffron production in Kashmir. Its production got 40% reduction due to erratic rain as it is mainly a rain fed crop. Chilling and frost was found quite detrimental for successful seed spices production. Fennel, fenugreek, cumin, ajowan, nigella, and so on were getting huge crop loss as to more prone to frost injury. In Cashew nut, high temperature above 34°C with low relative humidity (below 20%) caused drying of flowers and resulted in yield reduction (Datta, 2013; Malhotra, 2017). Cashew is mainly grown in rain-fed condition, therefore change in climate and drought or shifts in rainfall pattern caused crop loss (Yadukumar et al., 2010). It was reported that drought and cyclonic weather affect the nut yield of coconut (Laxman et al., 2010).

EFFECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON FLOWERS, MEDICINAL AND AROMATIC PLANTS

Changing climate has marked an impact on commercial flower crops in particular which use to grow in open field condition. Extremes of temperature caused poor flowering, improper floral development, and color. When temperature falls below 15°C, tropical orchids failed to flower, while in Jasmine caused reduction in flower size (Datta, 2013). Climate change which is impacting the ice cover of Himalayas is influencing the chilling requirement for many temperate flower crops like Rhododendrons, Orchids, Tulips, Magnolias, Alstromerea, and so on (Hazarika, 2015).

Medicinal and aromatic plants are not exception to the situation of having climate change effect. Secondary metabolites and related other compounds which are key components behind its medicinal properties can have serious influence because of temperature stress. Disrupted seasonal events, extreme weather, drought, warming of temperatures, and other human activities and natural hazards have serious impact on medicinal and aromatic plants. The World Health Organization recommends the use of rotation to minimize problems with pests and plant diseases. Care is required to obtain satisfactory yields.

INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON POLLINATION, PHENOLOGY, AND MATURITY OF PLANTS

Climate change is an emerging global phenomenon which has the potential to affect every forms of life mainly agricultural ecosystem. Rise in temperature leads to increase in soil salinity which in turn results in toxicity of plants like stunted plant growth, small leaves, and distortion of fruits. Low temperature and rainy spring may pose a threat in pollination. On the other hand cold temperature reduces the speed of pollen tube growth and shortens the life of pollination period. Flowers are fast losing their capacity to produce fragrance due to global wanning and this is affecting the process of pollination. Climate change, will impact bees at various levels including their pollinating efficiency (Reddy et al., 2012).

According to Ameglio et al. (2000), lack of chilling as in the mild winter conditions result in abnormal pattern of budbreak and development in temperate fruit trees. When chilling requirements are not completely fulfilled, trees display irregular and temporally spread out flowering, leading to anomalous growth and in homogeneous crop development (Petri and Leite, 2004). It is predicted that reduction in the winter regime (chilling duration) may affect pollination in some plants owing to early and frequent flower and fruit drop, anthocyanin production may be affected in apples and capsicum, tuber initiation process in vegetables like potato may be delayed, tip burn and blossom end rot may result in decreased tomato production, and so on. Sunburn and cracking and cracking in apple, apricot, cherries, and litchi have been reported owing to high temperature and moisture stress. Such morphological, physiological, and phonological changes like malformations in plant structures, sterility, yield reduction, delay or advancement in maturity affecting the reproductive phase of the plant, increase in vegetative growth, and so on have been reported due to the variable climatic conditions experienced by the crop plants (Naorem and Thongatabam, 2015).

There can be no fertilization if the temperature is either very low or high. If there is no fertilization, the fruit set can be damaged. It was evident from the reports of the previous studies that population abundance, pollination activities, and geographic range of important pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, and so on are declining with climate change (FAO, 2008). Ozone injures plants by damaging the stomata in the leaf surface and can result in suppressed photosynthesis, decreased growth, lower yields, lowering of nutritive values in plants. Past phenological studies explained that temperature has marked influence on flower induction. For instance, in temperate fruits low temperature has great influence on blossoming (Rai et al., 2015). High humidity, cloudy weather, and low temperature can delay panicle emergence and can reduce the quality of some crops and plants. However, excessively high temperature results in delay of fruit maturation, reduces the quality and nutritional values of fruits and decreasing color. The effect of temperature can be different on different crops simultaneously.

INFLUENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON POSTHARVEST MANAGEMENT OF CROPS

The production and quality of fresh horticulture and vegetable crops can be directly and indirectly affected by the hot and cold wave of temperature, rise in global temperature can affect crop photosynthesis, causing alterations in sugar content, peel color and firmness, organic acid and antioxidant activity. Increase in temperature can reduce yield in fruit crop by lowering photosynthesis, increasing respiration, and causing reproductive failure. Potato when grown under carbon dioxide accumulation in the atmosphere has direct affect on tuber malformation and change in reducing sugar content (Rai et al., 2015).

STRATEGIES AND MITIGATING OPTIONS

Climate change cause a lot of hindrances in all forms of life which lead to the need of changing in several cultural traditions and practices in food growing and resource management. Impact of climate change has to be analyzed and understood at regional levels for providing effective solutions through better innovation, technology evaluation, and refinement. It is appropriate to utilize modeling tools for impact analysis for various horticultural crops. Impact of climate change depends both on climate and system’s ability to adapt to change. To sustain productivity, crop-based adaptation strategies need to be developed based on the vulnerability of the crop to a specific agro-eco region and growing season. Agio technologies for crop management and production in high temperature and other stress conditions are already being worked out which has to be utilized properly. Resistant root stocks and varieties for various food crops tolerant to stresses have been identified and being used to combat climate change. Several institutions have evolved hybrids and varieties, which are tolerant to heat and drought stress conditions, which have potential to combat impact of climate change (Malhotra, 2017).

There are good numbers of rootstocks developed by researchers to address the biotic and abiotic stresses which can be a weapon in handling the climate change impact in fruit production industry. Arka Sahan, Ziziphus numularia, Rangpur Lime, Dogridge, Psidium tnolle X Psidiwn guajava, Pimica granatum (Var. Ruby), Khirni, Deamia and Excel, and so on are the drought tolerant rootstocks for Anona, ber, citrus, grape, guava, pomegranate, and sapota and fig, respectively (Singh et al., 2009; Singh 2010; Malhotra, 2017). Duke, and its progeny, Duke 7, Barr-Duke, D9 and Thomas are the Phytophthora root rot tolerant rootstocks for avocado; whereas, Rangpur lime for citrus. Dogridge, 11 OR, SO-4; Rangpur Lime and Cleopatra mandarin; Kurakkan, Nileshwar dwarf, Bappakai; Ficus glomerate are the salinity tolerant rootstocks for grape, lime, mango, and fig (Bose and Mitra, 1996). Psidium friedrichsthalianum (Chinese guava), P alata are the wilt resistant rootstock for guava and passion fruit and P edulis f Flavicarpa are Fusarium collar rot, nematode tolerant rootstock for passion fruit can be used to handle the abiotic and biotic stress conditions. There are lemon varieties like Pramalini, Sai Sarbati, PKM-1 which are tolerant to bacterial canker and tristeza virus (Chadha, 2015).

In case of vegetable crops, scientists have developed suitable varieties/ lines for addressing the problem of biotic and abiotic stresses, which can pave the way to mitigate the counter effect of climate change in vegetable cultivation. Advance lines like RF-4A, MST-42, and 46, IIHR Sel.-132 for tomato, onion, and chilli and varieties like Arka Vikas, Arka Kalyan, and Arka Lohit are drought/rainfall tolerant varieties for tomato, onion, and chilli (Datta, 2013; Hazarika, 2015). Arka Jay, Arka Vijay, Arka Sambram, Arka Arnogh, Arka Soumya and Arka Garima, Arka Surnan, Arka Samrudhi are the photo insensitive varieties for Dolichos bean and cowpea. IIHR Sel.-3, IIHR-19-1. IIHR-1&8. IIHR 316-1 and 37-1 are the high temperature tolerant lines developed by IIHR Bangalore for capsicum, French bean, peas and cauliflower, respectively (Hazra and Som, 1999; Rai and Yadav, 2005). Similarly, IARI; New Delhi has developed varieties tolerant to cold stress in radish (Pusa Hirnani) and tomato (Pusa Sheetal) (Chadha, 2015).

Further, infonnation on land situation specific crop suggestions is also available which can be helpful in tackling effect of climate change in crop cultivation. For waterlogged areas, crops like Makhana and lotus can be cultivated, whereas, aonla, guava, turmeric can be options in rain-fed areas with poor soil fertility. Japanese mint, vegetables, marigold can be crops for flood affected areas while bael, maliua, karonda, phalsa, citronella in saline patches and kair, khejri and karonda, and so on in ravenous areas (Chadha, 2015). Sandy waste land can suitably be used for cultivation of fruits like guava, tamarind, khejri; vegetables like chilli, cowpea, garlic and onion; medicinal plants like Aloe vera, aswagandha, and Vi rex regundo. Aonal, bael, ber, and so on fruits; beet, carrot, chilli, okra, methi, spinach, drumstick, and so on vegetables and Calotropis, fennel, Lawsonia inermis (Henna) can be cultivated in wastelands with high salt concentrations. Khejri. Phoenix sp.; chilli, cluster bean, cowpea, and dolichos bean; Ailan- thus excelsa, Boswellia serrata, Bursera panicillata, Cassia fistula, Kusum, Sheesham, and so on are potential crops for gullied and riverine lands. For undulating land situations fruits like ber, guava, olive, and peach; vegetables like cluster bean, cucumber, French bean, water melon, musk melon, and pointed gourd; medicinal plants like Henna and Chirayta can be cultivated; whereas lotus, jamun, tamarind, water chestnut, klias klias in waterlogged areas and karonda, jamun, ber, neem, Simarouba glauca in strip lands can be cultivated (Chadha, 2015).

In Hills, farm mechanization is extremely difficult due to the sloppy land and shallow depth of soil is another major contributing factor toward soil erosion. Development of new varieties which has higher yield potential and tolerance to drought, heat, and salinity is highly needed. Selection of appropriate horticulture crops based on land, soil, and climatic suitability for maximizing overall increase in production of horticultural crops is very crucial. Integrated nutrient management strategies for difficult horticultural crops and amelioration of multinutrient deficiency should be standardized and practiced. Rainwater harvesting is a need for farmers especially in hilly areas. Therefore, water harvesting in different forms like watershed approach, Jalkund (micro rain water harvesting structure for hills), roof water harvesting for life saving irrigation, and so on should be adopted to meet the future water requirement and combat drought. To mitigate the effects of higher temperature, there are number of tools that can be adopted. Mulching is one of the best and common method, plastic film to white polythene color can be used for summer production and black mulch or radiation blocks can reduce heat effect by reflecting away solar radiation. Shading is another strategy commonly shade cloth or netting is used. Shading is applied during the hottest period when the plant is most sensitive to heat.

Processing can reduce the incidence of food borne disease and is less susceptible to early spoilage than fresh fruit and it helps to alleviate shortages and improve the overall nutrition of produce fruit crops. This increases delicate perishable and good quality fruits across long distances and makes food safe to eat by deactivating spoilage and pathogenic microorganism.

Ecosystem sendees like carbon sequestration and storage, hydrological services, and biodiversity are to be enhanced for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Soil management practices like manuring, less tillage, farm residue incorporation, improvement of soil biodiversity, mulching can play important roles in carbon sequestration in soil (Wassmann and Pathak, 2007).

Collection, characterization, conservation, and evaluation of lesser- known underutilized crops are of utmost importance. Further development of package of practices for cultivation of these diverse indigenous crops is much needed. For sustainable horticulture in changing climate, judicious use of natural resources, more use of green house and hi-tech horticulture along with usage of heat tolerant, pest-disease resistant, and short duration crop species and varieties are of immense importance.

CONCLUSION

In review and emphasis on changing climate and its impact on all fonns of life shows us the need for saving horticulture. We can conclude that development of new crops which are tolerant to high temperature, resistance to pest and diseases, and high yielding varieties will probably prevent losses due to increase in temperature. Water conservation, reforestation, reduction in the emission of green house gases, green house technology, and adoption of more developed technology and management of land resources are the main strategies to combat the negative impact of changing climate. Human beings, as a whole have a veiy significant role to play and more awareness regarding this issue is the need of time.

KEYWORDS

  • climate change
  • horticulture
  • resilient
  • biotic
  • abiotic
  • stress

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