A parsimonious mechanistic model of reproductive and vegetative growth in fruit trees predicts consequences of fruit thinning and branch pruning - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Tree Physiology Year : 2021

A parsimonious mechanistic model of reproductive and vegetative growth in fruit trees predicts consequences of fruit thinning and branch pruning

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Abstract

Productivity of fruit tree crops depends on the interaction between plant physiology, environmental conditions and agricultural practices. We develop a mechanistic model of fruit tree crops that reliable simulates the dynamics of variables of interest for growers and consequences of agricultural practices while relying on a minimal number of inputs and parameters. The temporal dynamics of carbon content in the different organs (i.e., shoots—S, roots—R and fruits—F) are the result of photosynthesis by S, nutrient supply by R, respiration by S, R and F, competition among different organs, photoperiod and initial system conditions partially controlled by cultural practices. We calibrate model parameters and evaluate model predictions using unpublished data from a peach (Prunus persica) experimental orchard with trees subjected to different levels of branch pruning and fruit thinning. Fiinally, we evaluate the consequences of different combinations of pruning and thinning intensities within a multi-criteria analysis. The predictions are in good agreement with the experimental measurements and for the different conditions (pruning and thinning). Our simulations indicate that thinning and pruning practices actually used by growers provide the best compromise between total shoot production, which impacts next year’s abundance of shoots and fruits, and current year’s fruit production in terms of quantity (yield) and quality (average fruit size). This suggests that growers are not only interested in maximizing current year’s yield but also in its quality and its durability. The present work provides for modelers a system of equations based on acknowledged principles of plant science easily modifiable for different purposes. For horticulturists, it gives insights on the potentialities of pruning and thinning. For ecologists, it provides a transparent quantitative framework that can be coupled with biotic and abiotic stressors.
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hal-03769058 , version 1 (05-09-2022)

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Daniele Bevacqua, Paco Melià, Martina Cividini, Francesca Mattioli, Françoise Lescourret, et al.. A parsimonious mechanistic model of reproductive and vegetative growth in fruit trees predicts consequences of fruit thinning and branch pruning. Tree Physiology, 2021, 41 (10), pp.1794-1807. ⟨10.1093/treephys/tpab050⟩. ⟨hal-03769058⟩

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