Impact of the use of photoselective nets on two apple cultivars in a Mediterranean orchard

M. Aoun, K. Manja
Organic management for tree fruit production is a challenge as these perennial crops are grown in open field conditions for several years with major biotic and abiotic stresses for their production. Protected cultivation is less explored for tree fruit production compared to vegetables and small fruits. But the use of netting systems is becoming more and more popular in orchards globally in order to protect against environmental damage such as hail, frost and wind, flying pests and excessive solar radiation. The aim of this project was to measure and compare the effect of photoselective red netting systems on fruit quality indicators, tree vigor, microclimate and major apple pests in an experimental orchard in the Bekaa region in Lebanon. 'Fuji' and 'Jonagold' trees were either covered with net after full bloom or left under field conditions. The nets significantly protected the apple trees against codling moth. Photosynthetically active radiation (400-700 nm) transmission was reduced whereas the efficiency of the photosystem of the leaves was higher under nets compared to the control trees. Microclimate conditions comprising temperature, humidity and light intensity were monitored throughout the whole season whereas fruit quality indicators such as size, weight, skin color, sugar content, firmness, starch index and grading were monitored at harvest. The use of photoselective nets seemed a promising tool for a better quality fruit and an overall tree health with the opportunity of reducing the use of pesticides.
Aoun, M. and Manja, K. (2020). Impact of the use of photoselective nets on two apple cultivars in a Mediterranean orchard. Acta Hortic. 1286, 205-210
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1286.29
sustainable production system, tree fruit, photosynthesis, codling moth, postharvest quality, PAR, photosystem

Acta Horticulturae