The Effects of Ecoregion Dynamics on Agroregions for Permanent Crops in the Continental US Under Future Climate Change Scenarios
Fruit and Tree Nut production in the US averaged 14% of total annual production, or roughly \$28 billion in total revenue for the most recent 5 year period (2011 – 2015). The success of these crops is highly dependent on environmental conditions. Cold snaps before winter dormancy, early frosts in spring, and lack of sufficient chilling hours can reduce productivity, inflict wood damage, and lead to economic loss. Climate change can increase the likelihood of these threats and may have long-term implications for the areas where these crops are grown due to the migration of ecoregions as climate patters shift. We delineate ecoregions using multi-attribute spatio-temporal clustering and calculate chilling unit accumulation under past, present, and future climate scenarios using measured and modeled data. These results are then compared to current agroregions in the US to calculate risk dynamics, potential economic loss, and to map future agroregion scenarios. Our results offer considerations for food system sustainability under a shifting climate.