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The variable impacts of extreme weather events on fruit production in subtropical Australia

The frequency and severity of extreme weather events (EWEs) has recently been increased in coastal subtropical regions in Australia. These EWEs particularly affect agricultural production through disruptions to the entire agricultural supply chain. Central Queensland (CQ) is a large sub-tropical region in Australia and has been frequently affected by various types of EWEs, particularly since 1999. This study examines the impact of EWEs on the production of three tropical fruits (i.e., pineapple, mango and lychee) in CQ. Meteorological and fruit production data were collected from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Australian Bureau of Statistics respectively. An Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model was used to identify the relationship(s) between EWEs and the production volumes of the three selected fruits. This study found that EWEs moderately affected mango, lychee and pineapple production. A significant relationship was also observed between the fruit production volume and population growth of CQ as well as that of the broader state of Queensland. However, the results should be interpreted with caution given that this case study was limited to localised flood data, rather than using comprehensive modelling of regional rainfall and other variables, which would better reflect the geography and climate of the fruit production areas. The results derived from this study would be beneficial for tropical fruit industries worldwide, as they make plans to response to increasingly extreme weather; with a key finding being the important of understanding not only the occurrence, but also the seasonality of EWEs and comparing this with the growing and harvesting periods for global fruit production.

Funding

Other

History

Volume

262

Start Page

1

End Page

10

Number of Pages

10

ISSN

0304-4238

Publisher

Elsevier, Netherlands

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

19/11/2019

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Scientia Horticulturae