• Chilling efficiency;
  • climate change;
  • dormancy;
  • modelling;
  • Prunus armeniaca, L.;
  • temperature


Our aim was to assess the possible differential effect of increasing temperatures due to global warming on dormancy progression in apricot. The effect of a range of chilling temperatures on vegetative and reproductive bud dormancy progression in excised shoots was examined during two seasons. Temperature treatments were applied in different dormant stages to evaluate the possible interaction of date × temperature for dormancy release in apricot. During sampling, chill accumulated in the field ranged from 0 to 49 chill portions (CPs), corresponding to 0–100% of the chilling requirement (CR) of the apricot selection Z505-2. Forcing conditions were applied after a 60-day chill treatment on each sampling date, and rate to budbreak (1/mean time to bud break: MTB−1) was established in vegetative (terminal and lateral) and reproductive buds to determine depth of dormancy. Results showed that the stage of dormancy has a strong influence on the effect of different temperatures on dormancy progression in apricot. For the first time, a non-linear effect of different chilling temperatures during the dormancy cycle in apricot was obtained, especially in the superior range of temperatures traditionally considered to release dormancy. Thus, introduction of this differential effect could help to improve the models to estimate dormancy release in the context of climate change.