The impact of climate change scenarios on plant heat zones of Albania

ZYDI TEQJA1*, ZAMIR LIBOHOVA2, PHILLIP OWENS3, ALBERT KOPALI4

1Department of Horticulture and Landscape architecture, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania.

2USDA-NRCS National Soil Survey Center, 100 Centennial Mall North, Federal Building, Room 152, Lincoln NE 68508, USA;

3Purdue University, Department of Agronomy, 915 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA

4Department of Agro-Environment and Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

*Corresponding author e-mail: zteqja@ubt.edu.al

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Abstract

Temperature plays an important role in determining the type and distribution of plants that will succeed in a given area. Though a lot of attention is given to the minimum extreme temperatures, too much heat can be just as damaging to a plant as too much cold. In this study plant heat zones of Albania are constructed based on the American Horticultural Society model. Measured maximum temperatures for the summer months and number of days with temperature > 30oC were generated from 107 weather stations for a15 years period. Initially, the relationship between maximum temperature and number of days with temperature > 30oC was evaluated for measured data available from the weather stations. This relationship was then used to estimate the number of days with temperatures > 30oC for WorldClim and Climate Scenarios. According to the results using weather stations and WorldClim data, Albania has 7 heat zones, where zone 1 has less than 1 day with temperature above 30oC and zone 7 has 60-90 days. Most of the Albanian territory is dominated by zones 2-6. The evaluation of the impact of climate change scenarios on the size and distribution of heat zones showed the expansion of some of the heat zones and the appearance of new ones not previously present. Thus, for the periods 2041-2060 and 2061-2080 the areas for zones 4-7 increased while new zones 8 and 9 appeared for the first time covering significant areas of the territory in addition to the appearance of zone 10 for the most aggressive climate change forecast scenario.

Keywords: Heat zones; maximum temperature; climate change.

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