Project Objectives


LIFE-FROSTDEFEND project aims to design, develop and demonstrate the benefits of a novel monitoring and frost forecasting tool to mitigate frost injury in high yield agriculture crops. Frost damages on plants depend on several factors. Vegetation is not necessarily damaged when leaf temperatures drop below the freezing point of their cell contents. In the absence of a site nucleating formation of ice crystals, the cell sap remains in a supercooled liquid state. Ice-nucleation-active bacteria express a particular membrane protein which have the ability to act as a nucleation site, raising the temperature at which ice forms. Thus, they are of great importance for studying frost damages on plant although they are rarely taken into account in frost forecasting models due to the difficulty to monitor them continuously.

More specifically the project aims to:

Obj 1: Design and develop a smart IoT-based system for monitoring selected atmospheric and agronomic parameters, forecasting frost events, and provide early warnings of adverse conditions

Obj 2: Assess and predict the vulnerability and sensitivity of different types of fruit trees to frost events

Obj 3: Develop and implement anticipated responses to frost events using sustainable techniques with low carbon footprint to reduce the epiphytic populations of ice nucleation active bacteria under a critical threshold

Obj 4: Strengthening local capacities and provide guidelines about the best agricultural practices, technologies and support services, to reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience

Obj 5: Demonstrate the entire effort to several agricultural areas with different geographical and climatic characteristics

Obj 6: Develop the FROSTDEFEND Adaptation Plan to promote best available techniques and environmental practices

Obj 7: Increase awareness among target groups and end-users towards climate responsible attitudes