The change of first-flowering date over South Korea projected from downscaled IPCC AR5 simulation: peach and pear



The variations in the first-flowering date (FFD) of peach (Prunus persica) and pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) under future climate change in South Korea are investigated using simulations obtained from five models of the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. For the study, daily temperature simulations with Historical (1986–2005), and Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) (2071–2090) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios are statistically downscaled to 50 peach and pear FFD (FFDpeach and FFDpear, respectively) observation sites over South Korea. The number of days transformed to standard temperature (DTS) method is selected as the phenological model and applied to simulations for estimating FFDpeach and FFDpear over South Korea, due to its superior performance on the target plants and region compared to the growing degree days (GDD) and chill days (CD) methods. In the analysis, mean temperatures for early spring (February to April) over South Korea in 2090 under RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios are expected to have increased by 1.9 and 3.3 K, respectively. Among the early spring months of February to April, February shows the largest temperature increase of 2.1 and 3.7 K for RCP 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios, respectively. The increased temperature during February and March accelerates the plant growth rate and thereby advances FFDpeach by 7.0 and 12.7 days and FFDpear by 6.1 and 10.7 days, respectively. These results imply that the present flowering of peach and pear in the middle of April will have advanced to late March or early April by the end of this century.