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  • Author or Editor: J. Klueh x
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The sources of carbohydrate and other resources for fruit growth in cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) can be spatially partitioned into new growth, old leaves, and woody stems or other adjoining uprights. This research was conducted to determine which spatial source of resources was most important for fruit set in cranberry. At fruit set in late June, we removed the current season growth, one year old and older leaves, or both from 50 uprights per treatment plus a control at two locations. At harvest, fruit set, fruit number and size were determined. In all cases, removing the current season's growth significantly decreased fruit set. Removing both the current season's growth and old leaves produced an additional reduction in fruit set. Removing only old leaves reduced fruit set at one location but not the other. Fruit length, diameter or mean berry weight was not reduced by any treatment. The response of cranberry to resource limitation apparently is to reduce fruit numbers rather than fruit size. This research suggests that current season growth is the primary source of carbohydrates for fruit set in cranberry and that once the fruit are set they have sufficient sink strength to attract resources from a distance.

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Spunbonded polypropylene fabric covers were applied over mature `Searles' cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. in the field during dormancy in 1989. Covers were selectively removed at 3 week intervals in April, May and early June after onset of growth. Plant canopy air temperatures under fabric were 5 to 6C higher than in exposed controls. Temperature differences up to 17C were measured in early June. Soil temperatures did not differ from the control until late May. Earlier greening of leaf tissue resulted in increased photosynthetic rates earlier in the growing season under fabric covers. Subsequent shoot dry weight was increased 5%; leaf size was not affected. A trend to increased fruit set (4 to 6%) with fabric cover treatments was observed when covers were applied for 6 or 9 weeks. Total fruit yield and anthocyanin content were not appreciably influenced by fabric covers.

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