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  • Author or Editor: T-B Huang x
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Water and carbon budgets of individual citrus fruit were determined throughout their growth to quantify the demand for sucrose and water relative to developmental changes. Fruit transpiration, water accumulation, photosynthesis, respiration, and C gain were measured during this period for grapefruit (Citrus paradisii Macf.) and calamondin (Citrus madurensis Lour.). On a whole-fruit basis, estimated rates of grapefruit transpiration and mean daily water inflow decreased after the first third of development, whereas water apparently was lost freely throughout growth of the smaller, thin-peeled calamondins. Estimates of daily fruit C import remained relatively similar during the majority of grapefruit growth, increasing rapidly only as fruit neared maturation. A similar trend was observed in calamondins, although rates were more variable. Overall, estimated mean daily water inflow into “developing grapefruit decreased relative to that of sucrose inflow, resulting in a progressively higher ratio of sucrose transport to net water inflow. Values for these ratios rose from ≈; 10 to >300 g sucrose/liter of water, reaching levels of net water and sngar transfer that could both be accommodated by citrus phloem alone. Any additional entry into grapefruit appears to have been offset by xylem back-flow, because no other net water influx was observed.

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Fruit were removed 8, 16, and 24 weeks after peak bloom from 3- and 4-year-old, `Hamlin' orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] trees on `Carrizo' citrange root-stock [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck ×Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.], planted as bare root or containerized trees, to determine if fruit removal enhanced vegetative growth. Bare-root trees had a greater stem diameter and tree height than containerized trees at planting and after years 3 and 4. Fruit of bare-root trees had lower fresh and dry weights, refixed less of their respiratory CO2 during development, and lost water less rapidly after harvest. In addition, fruit removal treatments did not increase growth of either bare-root or containerized trees relative to trees from which no fruit had been removed. In fact, tree diameters were slightly higher when fruit were not harvested. Carbon cost of fruit production may have been countered by other factors under field conditions, such as known enhancement of photosynthetic rates by fruit load and/or diurnal contributions by fruit to leaf water demands.

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