An energy balance approach for precision physiology-based management of apple orchards under netting

R.M. Bastías, M.F. Matamala, M.J. Leyton, G. Soto, E. González, I. Urra, G. Ricciardi
The aim of this research was to study the relationship between the radiant and heat flux components and leaf gas exchanges in apple orchard under netting. Net radiation (Rn), sensible heat (H) and latent heat (LE) fluxes were estimated from continuous monitoring of micro-environmental (global radiation, air and leaf temperature, relative humidity and wind speed) variables in a 'Gala' apple orchard growing under netting and open-air systems. Net photosynthesis (An), transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), and intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) were simultaneously recorded at leaf level by an IRGA system. Spectral solar irradiance was measured by a dual-system (UV-VIS-IR) spectrometer. Yield, fruit quality and tree growth parameters were estimated at harvest. Under sunny day conditions netting reduced by 18, 60 and 19% the Rn, H and LE fluxes, respectively. Reduction of daily cumulative fluxes of Rn and LE by netting was closely related to increases in An (R2=0.60 and 0.69, respectively) with positive effects on fruit growth and water use efficiency. From fitting a multiple regression model, it was estimated that maximum An would be achieved with a netting system that guarantees Rn and LE cumulative fluxes values in the ranges of 0.3-0.5 and 0.6-0.8 MJ m‑2, respectively. Results suggest that energy balance components can be used for the development of more efficient netting systems (materials, installation system designs) to improve photosynthesis, productivity and water use efficiency in apple orchards.
Bastías, R.M., Matamala, M.F., Leyton, M.J., Soto, G., González, E., Urra, I. and Ricciardi, G. (2021). An energy balance approach for precision physiology-based management of apple orchards under netting. Acta Hortic. 1314, 313-320
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1314.39
two-color photo-selective net, latent and sensible heat, leaf gas exchange

Acta Horticulturae