University of Maine study:

Some Maine blueberry fields are warming faster than others

According to a new University of Maine study, some blueberry fields are warming faster than others. This seems to depend on factors like location, season and time. One researcher says this could lead to fewer berries being produced.

The study found blueberry fields in Piscataquis and Washington counties are warming faster and experiencing longer growing seasons than other Maine counties analyzed by researchers, but their average temperatures are not as high.

Dr. YongJiang Zhang is an assistant professor of plant physiology at the School of Biology and Ecology at UMaine. He worked on this newest blueberry study. In terms of location, Zhang said that northern blueberry barrens are warming faster than southern barrens, with coastal fields warming faster compared to inland fields.

"We need to be ready," Zhang said. Depending on a blueberry field's location and season, farmers may need to use new precise techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change.


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