Alternate bearing is a serious problem in many apple varieties. In fact, each year, apple trees have to be thinned in order to ensure a correct and constant balance between the reproductive and vegetative tendencies of the plant. In organic fruit growing, there is no alternative to the expensive and time-consuming process of hand-thinning. Under these conditions, the use of natural bio-stimulants which enhance the efficiency of nutrient uptake, plant fitness to different pedoclimatic conditions, and plant tolerance to stress offers new opportunities to reduce the negative effects of alternate bearing. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of Actiwave® , a metabolic enhancer derived from the algae Ascophillum nodosum, on ‘Fuji’ apple trees affected by experimentally-imposed, alternate bearing. The experiments were carried in open field conditions over 4 consecutive years. Although the effect of Actiwave® was erratic from year-to-year, the compound generally reduced those problems linked to alternate bearing. Actiwave® had its most significant effect on alternate bearing plants that were also affected by nutrient deprivation due to the absence of fertilisation. In these trees, Actiwave® decreased the oscillations in yield between the “on” and “off” year and increased the average fruit weight on plants affected by too high crop load. Treated trees also showed higher leaf chlorophyll contents (increased by 12%) with a consequent increment in photosynthetic and respiratory rates. On the other hand, under standard conditions, in well fertilised, balanced plants, Actiwave® did not have any significant effect. This evidence corroborates the hypothesis that Actiwave® may be an useful tool to reduce alternate bearing in organic and low input farming.

Perspectives on the use of a seaweed extract to moderate the negative effects of alternate bearing in apple trees

SPINELLI, FRANCESCO;FIORI, GIOVANNI;NOFERINI, MASSIMO;COSTA, GUGLIELMO
2009

Abstract

Alternate bearing is a serious problem in many apple varieties. In fact, each year, apple trees have to be thinned in order to ensure a correct and constant balance between the reproductive and vegetative tendencies of the plant. In organic fruit growing, there is no alternative to the expensive and time-consuming process of hand-thinning. Under these conditions, the use of natural bio-stimulants which enhance the efficiency of nutrient uptake, plant fitness to different pedoclimatic conditions, and plant tolerance to stress offers new opportunities to reduce the negative effects of alternate bearing. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of Actiwave® , a metabolic enhancer derived from the algae Ascophillum nodosum, on ‘Fuji’ apple trees affected by experimentally-imposed, alternate bearing. The experiments were carried in open field conditions over 4 consecutive years. Although the effect of Actiwave® was erratic from year-to-year, the compound generally reduced those problems linked to alternate bearing. Actiwave® had its most significant effect on alternate bearing plants that were also affected by nutrient deprivation due to the absence of fertilisation. In these trees, Actiwave® decreased the oscillations in yield between the “on” and “off” year and increased the average fruit weight on plants affected by too high crop load. Treated trees also showed higher leaf chlorophyll contents (increased by 12%) with a consequent increment in photosynthetic and respiratory rates. On the other hand, under standard conditions, in well fertilised, balanced plants, Actiwave® did not have any significant effect. This evidence corroborates the hypothesis that Actiwave® may be an useful tool to reduce alternate bearing in organic and low input farming.
Spinelli F.; Fiori G.; Noferini M.; Sprocatti M.; G. Costa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/82381
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