Climate characterization under protection facilities in the American inter-tropical region
Horticultural production in inter-tropical regions is a key factor for food security, because it is the main source of iodine, iron and vitamin A. Moreover, it is an economic tool related with international markets. This region is characterized by an annual rainfall higher than 1,200 mm, concentrated from December to April, making necessary the use of protection facilities. This work was conducted in Vinces (Ecuador) (79°39'W, 01°33'S). The aim of this work was to characterize the climate generated under protection facilities in inter-tropical regions for the horticultural production. There were four sectors of crop production: three different protective structures depending on their cost (high cost (HC), medium cost (MC), low cost (LC)) and one open field cultivation (OF). Protective structures were multi-tunnels greenhouses with 5 tunnels, 8 m wide each. Roof cover was a three layer co-extruded film stabilized with HALS and antioxidants of 200 µm. The sidewalls of the greenhouses were covered with anti-insect nets. HC and MC presented a height of 4 m under gutter and 5 m at the ridge. HC had 10 roof windows motorized and automated (1×0.60 m2); MC had 5 roof windows with manual management. LC presented a height of 3 m under gutter and 4 m at the ridge and it did not have roof windows. Temperature, Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD), radiation, wind speed and rainfall were measured along the tested period. As conclusion, the use of protective facilities in inter-tropical regions of Ecuador is profitable for horticultural production; however, the high-cost facilities are not justified because no comparative advantages were found. Other plastic cover materials should be tested to improve the light transmission coefficient and therefore radiation received by crops.
Salcedo, G.A., Pérez-Saiz, M., Reca-Cardeña, J., Barbero-Francisco, F.J. and Lao-Arenas, M.T. 2017. Climate characterization under protection facilities in the American inter-tropical region. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:1077-1084
temperature, vapor pressure deficit, global radiation, transmissivity, rainfall, horticultural production, inter-tropical greenhouse