This paper represents an overview of cold hardiness research conducted on agricultural and horticultural crops, as well as on amenity plants in Finland. Inadequate freezing tolerance and/or winter hardiness often prevents introduction of new species and cultivars to Finland. Field observations on winter hardiness and more recently the results from laboratory freezing tests, have assisted breeders to select hardy genotypes. Research approaches for agricultural crops have evolved from observations on winter and frost damage to studies on molecular mechanisms of cold acclimation and freezing injury. The results of experiments on survival of winter cereals, grasses and clovers and frost tolerance of potato and turnip rape are discussed. The studies conducted on horticultural crops, including apple, strawberry, raspberry, currants, blueberry, sea buckthorn, perennial herbs as well as on ornamental trees and shrubs have included field evaluations of cultivars, or selections for winter hardiness, and studies on the effects of cultural management practices on winter survival. During the last decade detailed studies including controlled freezing tests have provided tools to assist in explanation of the underlying mechanisms of cold hardiness also in horticultural plants. ;
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