Effect of Climate Change on Fruit Crops
Authors: Swapnil D. Deshmukh

India is endowed with different agro-climatic condition that offers immense scope for cultivation of various kinds of fruit crops. But due climate change fruit production and quality of fruits decreases day by day. Climatic factors such as temperature, rainfall, wind, humidity affects the production and quality of fruits.

  1. Mango
  • Temperature –
Optimum temperature range- 21oc to 27 oc.

Temperature goes below 0 oc young plants and new flushes will damage permanently.

Seed germination was rapid between 25 oc to 40 oc and seedling growth during first fourth night after germination was optimum at 30 oc.

Higher temperature during fruit development hasten maturity and improve fruit size and quality.

Prolong exposure of fruits at maturity to temperature exceed 35 oc may cause sun burning.

Spongy tissue observed more severe due to increase temperature above 40.5 oc.

During high temperature the rate of transpiration increases from leaves and young fruits and consequently sufficient quantity of moisture withdrawn from fruits which are unable to withstand the stress and are shade easily.

  • Rainfall –
Rains during pre flowering and flowering period leads to delayed flowering or to the production of vegetative flushes instead of inflorescence.

Cloudy weather at the time of flowering results in heavy flower drop.

Increase in the population of hoppers.

Heavy rains at fruit maturity results in reduction of fruit quality.

Due to unusual rainfall pattern during development stage delayed maturity and low

quality of fruits in Dashehari mango.

Anthracnose disease was found to be severe from June to September when the

temperature remains high accompanied by rain fall for number of days.

  • Wind –
High speed wind at the time of flowering and fruit set results in flower and fruit


  • Relative humidity –
High relative humidity was associated with fruit cracking in Dshehari mango.

Low humidity, high temperature and high winds causes May fruit drop. Drop during day time is more than during night.

  1. Banana
  • Temperature –
Optimum temperature range - 20 oc to 30 oc

Temperature below 10 oc during winter also prevents the emergence of inflorescence through pseudostem top called ‘ choke throat’.

Temperature below 13 oc and above 40 oc during fruit growth and development causes under peel colouration.

Very high temperature (40 oc) induces premature ripening of green fruits.

High temperature during and immediately after bunch emergence reduce the shelf life.

Sunburn in leaves may occur during winter month due to high day time temperature, light intensity and low humidity.

In cooler climate, duration is extended sucker production is affected and bunches become small.

  • Relative humidity –
Low humidity (60-65 %) increase water loss (6.95%) reduce the quality of ripe fruit.

90-95% humidity at the time of fruit ripening gives best quality ripe fruit.

  • Rainfall –
Under long dry spell the bunches may even fail to emerge from the pseudo stem at the top.

Prolong drought conditions result in stunted growth and short fingers.

Commercial ripening of banana fruit occurs at high relative humidity (RH), which prevents browning of damaged skin areas. In experiments with ripening at high RH (94 ± 1%).

  • Wind –
Heavy wind (90-100 km/hr) results in uprooting and collapse of the plant.

  1. Guava
  • Temperature –
Optimum temperature range - 23 oc to 26 oc

High temperature during summer coupled with low humidity has been reported to reduce fruit set and increase fruit drop.

High summer temperature in the previous year suppresses the blossom bud differentiation and promotion of extension growth.

Attractive red colour guava varieties develop anthocynin in fruit peel at low temperature during cool night at fruit maturation stage.

Anthracnose disease of guava in rainy season crop is greatly influence by number and frequency of rainy days.

  • Relative humidity –
Wilt in guava was more at high humidity.

  1. Papaya
  • Temperature –
Optimum temperature ranges - 22 oc to 26 oc

Low temperature (10 oc) inhibits growth and affect fruit development, fruit has less flavor and sweetness.

Extreme of low temperature during winter results in burning of leaves followed anthracnose.

High temperature during summer affect pollen fertility causing reduction in fruit setting.

High temperature induces more maleness in papaya plant.

Powdery mildew was more severe when the temperature between 16.4 oc to 22.92 oc, Relative humidity between 65 to 86% with sunshine 6.2 hrs.

  • Relative humidity –
A relative humidity of 60% was reported to be essential for optimum growth.

  1. Citrus
  • Temperature –
Optimum temperature range - 22 oc to 30 oc

Summer drop occurs in ambia bahar from second half of April to May due to high atmospheric temperature (42 oc to 45 oc) accompanied with hot dry gusty winds.

Inadequate sun light causes production of inferior quality fruit and low yield.

Low temperature of -6.6 oc to -4.4 oc is consider injurious to young trees, while mature old trees are killed at a temperature of about -11.1 oc to -8.8 oc.

The average maximum temperature during May to August showed strong positive correlation with the incidence and extent of granulation.

  • Relative humidity –
Low humidity usually fevers better colour development of fruits, while in more humid conditions fruits are more juicy with thin rind.

Cracking in acid lime fruit occurred after heavy rain following dry period of drought.

Low humidity causes vigorous shaking of branches and fruits drop down.

In high humid and heavy rainfall regions, fruit produce are inferior in quality and have poor shelf life.

  • Wind –
Hot winds and excessive heat during flowering and fruit set period are highly detrimental for good bearing and causes fruit drop and sun burn of fruits.

About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently pursuing Ph. D. in Horticulture from Dr. P.D.K.V.,Akola.