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Temperature has a greater effect on fruit growth than defoliation or fruit thinning in strawberries in the subtropics

Menzel, C. M. (2019) Temperature has a greater effect on fruit growth than defoliation or fruit thinning in strawberries in the subtropics. Agriculture (Switzerland), 9 (6). ISSN 20770472 (ISSN)

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9060127


Fruit size declines in strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa Duch.) as the season progresses in many subtropical areas, possibly due to inadequate leaf area, over-cropping, or high temperatures. An experiment was conducted to investigate the importance of these factors on fruit growth in ‘Festival’ in Queensland, Australia. Groups of plants were defoliated to remove half of the mature leaves on each plant, thinned to remove all the inflorescences on each plant, or defoliated and thinned. Control plants were left intact. Defoliation, thinning, or defoliation + thinning decreased yield (total and/or marketable) by 15% to 24% compared with the control. Defoliation, or defoliation + thinning decreased average fruit weight (total and/or marketable fruit) by 1 to 2 g compared with the control, whereas thinning had the opposite effect. The incidence of small fruit increased towards the end of the season. There were strong relationships between fruit weight and average daily mean temperature in the seven weeks before harvest (R2s greater than 0.80). Fruit weight decreased from 24 g to 8 g as the temperature increased from 16 °C to 20 °C. This response was not affected by defoliation or thinning. The strong effect of temperature on fruit size indicates a problem for production in the future in the absence of heat-tolerant cultivars. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Crop load Defoliation Fragaria x ananassa duch. Fruit growth Fruit thinning Leaf area Temperature Yield
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Horticulture. Horticultural crops
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Berries and small fruits
Deposited On:28 Apr 2020 02:27
Last Modified:28 Apr 2020 02:27

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