|Author:||Lopez, G. ; Girona, J. ; Marsal, J. ; Solans, J.R. ; Mata, M. ; Arbones, A.|
|Book Group Author:||NA|
A water deficit during stage III of fruit growth was established with the aim of determining if it is possible to achieve an improvement in tree water status by summer pruning and fruit thinning. The experiment was set up as a randomized block split-plot design across trials (irrigation) where pruning was assigned to the main plot and fruit thinning to the sub-plots. The irrigation treatments were (1) standard full irrigation (FI), and (2) suppression of irrigation during stage III of fruit growth until leaves visibly withered (LWI); the pruning treatments were (1) experimental summer pruning (EP), and (2) standard summer pruning (CP); and three fruit thinning intensities were applied to facilitate analysis of the effects of the treatments in relation to fruit load. Changes in amount of light intercepted and in tree stem water potential (psi(stem)) were evaluated. The EP treatment reduced the amount of light intercepted by the tree. In the FI treatment, there was a significant reduction in fruit growth measured as both water accumulation and dry mass accumulation. Under FI conditions, reductions in fruit load as a result of EP were not accompanied by a significant improvement in psi(stem). In the LWI treatment, EP produced a significant improvement of 0.17 MPa in psi(stem), but there was no improvement in fruit growth compared with CP trees. A reduction in fruit load from 350 (commercial load) to 150 per tree significantly improved psi(stem) by 0.3 MPa at the end of stage III of fruit growth. These results indicate that improvements in water status in response to pruning may be insufficient to promote fruit growth if the pruned trees are unable to provide an adequate supply of assimilates to the developing fruits.
|Pages:||469 - 477|
drought tolerance, plant growth, developmental stages, waterstress, mathematical models, equations, xylem water potential, growthmodels, plant development, crop production, irrigation, Prunus persica,peaches, pruning, fruits (plant anatomy), crop yield, summer, Spain