(320) Influence of Light Microclimate on the Growth, Yield, and Fruit Quality of Apple

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  • 1 1Horticulture, P.R. China
  • | 2 2Pomology, Horticulture, P.R. China
  • | 3 3University of Arkansas, Horticulture, Fayetteville, AR, 72701

Influence of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) microclimate in the canopy of four training systems [open-center with high trunk (OH); open-center with middle trunk (OM); open-center with low trunk (OL); and a traditional round canopy (RC)] on the growth, yield and fruit quality of apple were studied in the Beijing area. The results showed that: 1) the growth and yield potential were affected by canopy light microclimate. The average leaf chlorophyll content from OH, OM and OL systems was 12.3% to 18.1% greater than that from the RC system. Trees from OH, OM, and OL systems produced 84.2% to 89.7% of shoot forming flower clusters compared to only 47.3% to 50.9% of the RC shoots. Training system did not affect total yield of 8-year-old trees, but in 10-year-old trees the RC system had lower yields compared with open-center systems. 2) Fruit quality was also affected by canopy light microclimate. The average anthocyanin content in the skin of fruit from OH, OM, and OL systems was 35.9% to 46.1% higher than that from the RC system, but chlorophyll content from the OL system was higher than in the open-center systems. Meanwhile, the contents of TSS and esters in apple flesh from the open-center systems were significantly higher than that from the RC system. 3) When the relative value of PAR in canopy exceeded 33.8%, the growth index of trees (chlorophyll: return-bloom ratio) exceeded 66.6% and the fruit quality index (TSS × anthocyanin) exceeded 94.7%. When PAR was less than 20.6%, the growth index was under 37.2% and the fruit quality index was under 67.5%. PAR value was significantly correlated with the growth and fruit quality index in the four training systems, and the total canopy volume of higher PAR(exceeding 33.8%, relative value) from OH, OM, and OL systems was 37.1% to 45.0% greater than that from the RC system.

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