EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Interannual olive yield modulation forced by climate stressors in Italy: a composite index approach to support crop management 

Arianna Di Paola, Edmondo Di Giuseppe, and Massimiliano Pasqui
Arianna Di Paola et al.
  • National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute for BioEconomy (IBE), Rome, Italy (

Even though a large part of the Italian peninsula is characterized by a Mediterranean climate intrinsically highly suitable for olive cultivation, farmers may experience variable agronomic and management costs due to interannual yield variability. A synoptic picture of major climate stressors and their ongoing impacts on olive yield variability at a broad spatio-temporal scale are scarce, but, if identified, could enhance the development of actionable services to alert stakeholders of potential climate risks. We analyzed Italian olive yield data from the Italian National Statistics Institute (ISTAT), aggregated at the provincial level, during 2006-2020, and several climatic variables from Reanalysis v5 (ERA5) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWR) to i) explore olive yields trends and inter-annual variations over the whole peninsula; ii) identify major climate stressors likely responsible for the largest drops in yield; iii) build a composite index that summarizes the risk of having exceptionally low yields due to the occurrence of multiple climate stressors; to this end, we defined two major classes of yield, namely exceptionally low and high yields (LY and HY, respectively), and explored the climatic variables, aggregated on a bimonthly time scale, determining yield in outcomes. It is worth noting that the use of bimonthly periods provides a means of examining the seasonal effects of stressors while providing the basis for near-real-time forecasting. Moreover, five years (i.e., 2009, 2011, 2014, 2018, and 2019) characterized by a conspicuous number of both LY and HY were focused to examine whether the composite risk index has application at more local scales. Results are discussed and some possible explanations based on the current knowledge of olive developmental ecology are provided. We suggest our approach as a promising yet still-in-progress work that could pave the way to an integrated meteorological seasonal forecast system to provide timely insight on factors affecting within-season yield development.   

How to cite: Di Paola, A., Di Giuseppe, E., and Pasqui, M.: Interannual olive yield modulation forced by climate stressors in Italy: a composite index approach to support crop management , EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5939,, 2022.


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