Sustainable orchard management to face climatic changes
Convener: Georgios Koubouris  | Co-convener: Jose A. Gómez 
 / Wed, 24 Sep, 08:30–15:00  / Room A
 / Attendance Wed, 24 Sep, 17:00–19:00  / Display Wed, 24 Sep, 08:30–19:00  / Foyer

The following proposed session will be oriented to integrate the results of many national and international projects (including the LIFE+ Oliveclima project, www.oliveclima.eu) which aim to guide the agricultural sector in order to face several environmental and agronomic challenges under climate change by converting tree cultivation to a climate change management tool. The networks already existing in those projects will be the base for a valuable scientific contribution. Studies covering all aspects dealing with climate changes in orchards (particularly those grown in Mediterranean area, but also in other semiarid areas) will be welcomed.
1. Dr Georgios Koubouris, ELGO DEMETER, Institute for Olive Tree and
Subtropical Plants, GREECE
2. Dr Giuseppe Montanaro and Prof. Cristos Xiloyannis, University of Basilicata, Italy
3. Dr Jose Alfonso Gomez, Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible, CSIC,
Cordoba, Spain

Sustainable orchard management to face climatic changes
Scientific/technical objectives of the session
The general aims of the session are:
- stimulate discussion (and possibly collaboration) among a large number of scientist working on soil-related aspects of fruit tree orchards
- provide a wide picture on the various research approach adopted by international agricultural experts
working on mitigation of climate change impacts

The proposal objectives are:
1. Assess the current research status on the environmental benefits related to sustainable orchard management practices.
Scientist will provide a comprehensive image of the sustainable orchard management practices (e.g. soil management, cover crops, irrigation, pruning residuals) able to mitigate the environmental impact of cultivation. Comparative studies will be warmly recommended.

2. Learn more about the potential role of orchards as tool for atmospheric CO2 capture (and storage) in the Mediterranean area.
The carbon balance at orchard scale will be focused. Particularly the role of Mediterranean environment (e.g. high summer temperature, low annual rainfall) and related aspects of cultivation (e.g. drip irrigation) on the CO2 sequestration will be analysed. Contributions on possible certification processes of the carbon and water footprint (farm scale) will be included.

3. Exchange information on cultivation practices oriented to increase soil organic carbon and reduce soil degradation.
This topic will be more technical and will focus on the beneficial effect of specific cultivation practices (e.g. application of compost, cover crops) on recovery of low soil carbon and mitigating soil losses. It will include deep debate on how increase dissemination of existing environmental friendly information among growers and professionals.

4. Increase awareness on the existing relationship between “water scarcity/quality” and “soil quality”
Quality of irrigation water (i.e. amount of dissolved salts) is not adequately considered as source of soil degradation. This is sharpened in environments with higher evaporative demand and lower rainfall. Reducing irrigation volume would reduce application of salts, moreover increasing soil water holding capacity (through increased soil carbon content) would increase storage of winter rainfall contributing to the reduction of seasonal irrigation needs.