Determination of Endodormancy Break in Almond Flower Buds by a Correlation Model Using the Average Temperature of Different Day Intervals and its Application to the Estimation of Chill and Heat Requirements and Blooming Date
Almond (Prunus amygdalus Batsch.) blooming date is determined by the temperatures during the dormancy period, from the onset of endodormancy to just before blooming. In this work we have developed a model, based on several years data, to estimate the mean transition date from endodormancy to ecodormancy in 44 almond cultivars covering the whole range of almond bloom, through the significance of correlation coefficients between the temperatures occurring during dormancy and the date of full bloom. The estimation of this date for each cultivar has allowed the calculation of its chill and heat requirements. It was found that most cultivars have chilling requirements between 400 and 600 chill units, whereas the span of heat requirements was wider, from 5500 to 9300 growing degree hours Celsius. Some cultivars show high chilling requirements and low heat requirements whereas others show opposite requirements. These differences confirm the wide almond adaptability to different climatic conditions and offer the possibility of being utilized in breeding programs. The good fit shown by the application of this model in the prediction of bloom time may sustain its application in chilling and heat requirement estimation in other fruit species if blooming dates and climatic data for several years are available.