The 29th International Horticultural Congress | Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes | 17-22 August 2014
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Physiology of Perennial Fruit Crops and Production Systems in a Changing Global Environment

Sponsored by the ISHS Sections of Pome & Stonefruits, Vine & Berry Fruits, Nuts & Mediterranean Zone Fruits, and Citrus and the Commission Irrigation & Plant Water Relations.

The International Symposium on the "Physiology of perennial fruit crops and production systems in a changing global environment" will be held in Brisbane, Australia in 2014 during the International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014).

Fruit production systems will soon face greater and new constraints to productivity and profitability. The Earth’s population is projected to grow to 9.5 billion people by 2050, resources (water, arable land, nutrients, and fossil fuels) are becoming increasingly scarce, whilst the global climate changes. Plant Science has therefore never been more important.

A guiding theme of this symposium will be to explore what is the theoretical limit of fruit crops productivity, and what major factors are preventing this from being realised? In a world of scarce resources, fruit production systems must become more efficient, which requires continuing advances in crop physiology. Future gains in resource use efficiency and productivity need to be achieved while maintaining fruit quality and nutritional value.

Session Themes:

Constraints, opportunities, and changes to fruit production in the context of future:

  • Climate change
  • Resource availability and use (i.e. soil, water, nutrients, energy, and labour)
  • Resource sustainability.

Physiology of fruit crops at the organ, tree, and production system scales:

  • Plant growth and development
  • Water relations and nutrient use
  • Rootstock physiology
  • Plant architecture and manipulation
  • Canopy productivity and fruit quality
  • Orchard planting systems for the future.


Dr Stuart Tustin is Science Group Leader for the Crop and Fruit Production Systems Group, of the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd. He is located at the Hawke’s Bay Research Centre, Havelock North, in one of New Zealand’s major fruit growing regions for apples, stonefruit and wine grapes. His main research activities are in temperate fruit crops physiology, manipulation of tree processes to optimise harvest index, fruit development and the physiological basis of fruit quality enhancement, intensive planting systems and rootstock effects on tree architecture and function, principally on apples. He is currently Chair of the Orchard and Plantations Systems Working Group of the Fruit Section of ISHS and has co-chaired and co-organised a number of Symposia and Seminars at previous Congresses and Working Group Symposia.

Dr Ben van Hooijdonk is a scientist within the Crop and Fruit Production Systems Group of the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd., based at the Hawke’s Bay Research Centre, Havelock North, New Zealand. His research activities include temperate fruit crops physiology and primarily involve optimising quality and productivity of apple, pear, and kiwifruit for the New Zealand fruit industry. His present areas of research include physiology of rootstock dwarfing, rootstock influence on shoot architecture, hormonal regulation of architecture, and manipulation of canopy architecture to optimise productivity of apple and kiwifruit orchards.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Brent Clothier is Group Leader of Systems Modelling within Plant & Food Research. Brent is an Adjunct Professor in the New Zealand Life Cycle Management Centre of Massey University. Brent is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and the Zealand Soil Science Society. He is also a Fellow of three foreign academies: the Soil Science Society of America, the American Agronomy Society, and the American Geophysical Union. Brent has published over 200 scientific papers on the movement and fate of water, carbon and chemicals in production systems, as well as on environmental policy and natural capital valuation. Brent is Joint Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Agricultural Water Management.

Luca Corelli Grappadelli is Professor of Tree Physiology and deputy department head at the Department of Agricultural Sciences at the University of Bologna. He is a member of the EUFRIN Network Board, representing Italy. He was the Chairman of EUFRIN, 2000-2002. He leads the Ecophysiology Lab in the Department, and his interests lie in tree/light interactions and fruit growth physiology, instrument development and technology transfer. His main crops are apple, peach, kiwifruit and pear.

Scientific Committee

  • John Palmer (New Zealand) (Chair Environmental Physiology of Fruit Crops WG)
  • Adam Friend (New Zealand)
  • P-E Lauri (France)
  • Terence Robinson (USA)
  • Alan Lakso (USA)
  • Ted DeJong (USA)
  • Jim Syversten (USA)
  • Annette Richardson (New Zealand)
  • Karen Theron (Republic South Africa)
  • Jens Wunsche (Germany)
  • Luca Corelli-Grappadelli (Italy)
  • Matthew Whiting (USA)
  • Greg Reighard (USA) (Chair Peach WG)
  • Frank Maas (Netherlands)
  • Cristos Xiloyannis (Italy)
  • Tiziano Caruso (Italy)
  • Joan Girona (Spain)
  • Genaro Fazio (USA) (Chair Rootstock WG)
  • Marlene Ayala (Chile) (Chair Cherry WG)
  • Massimo Tagliavini Italy (Chair Mineral Nutrition of fruit crops WG)
  • Bernadine Strik (USA) (Chair Section Vine and Berryfruits)
  • Prof. Sisir Kunar Mitra (India) (Chair Section Tropical and Subtropical Fruits)
  • Dr Damiano Avanzato (Italy) (Chair Section Nuts and Mediterranean Climate Fruits)
  • Prof Ayzin B. Kuden (Turkey) (Chair Temperate Zone Fruit in Tropics and Subtropics WG)