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Apple tree growth and ramification in an agroforestry system

Abstract : Contemporary agriculture has to face new scientific and societal challenges (IAASTD 2009). Recent studies have shown that humanity will have to double agricultural production to meet the demand in 2050 (Ray et al. 2013). But agriculture needs to increase its production while addressing environmental concerns. Different solutions have been proposed in order to answer these challenges including new practices more resilient to external pressure (climatic disturbances, new diseases, economic crises) and more efficient (Foley et al. 2011). Agroforestry is the association, on a plot, of perennial and annual crops and possibly animals (Dupraz & Liagre 2011). Agroforestry systems (AFS) in temperate climate are mainly composed of two layers: the tree layer and the herb layer. However, an original timber-tree-based AFS could be enriched with fruit-trees in an intermediate vertical stratum. In such context, the interest but also the challenges of timber- and fruit-tree based AFS lie in: (i) fruit production, (ii) microclimate and plant ecophysiology and (iii) biocontrol of pests and diseases (Lauri et al. 2016). The apple-agroforestry experiment (Growing AgroForestry systems with Apple, GAFA) was set in 2016, combining hybrid walnut trees planted in 1995, apple trees planted in March 2016 and 5-year-old Lucerne. This work focuses on the effects of the distance between apple trees and walnuts, inducing presumably a gradient of competition, on various architectural and morphological aboveground features of the apple trees. The AFS reduced incoming light and global radiation but acted as a buffer on temperatures. These modification on the aboveground environment of the AFS induced a buffer effect on water potential daily evolution (Ψ) as well as different growth strategy of the apple tree in their second year. There was a difference in the AF apple trees stem geometry (higher slenderness and lesser tapering), architecture (less ramifications), and morphology (higher leaf area and specific leaf area).
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03030298
Contributor : Pierre-Eric Lauri <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 7:55:11 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 11, 2021 - 3:36:58 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-03030298, version 1

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Benjamin Pitchers, Aurelie Metay, Jean-Luc Regnard, Pierre-Éric Lauri. Apple tree growth and ramification in an agroforestry system. [Internship report] INRAE. 2017, 75 p. ⟨hal-03030298⟩

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