Abiotic stress factors influencing calcium nutrition of export bananas (Musa sp.) and pineapples (Ananas comosus) in Central America

R.A. Ortiz
Export bananas (Musa sp.) and pineapples (Ananas comosus) are very important crops in Central America. Cultivated under tropical environments, these crops are subject to intense biotic factors negatively affecting nutrient uptake, growth, production, and quality. A thorough review of abiotic factors affecting calcium (Ca) nutrition in export pineapple and banana crops in Central America was made. One of the major stress factors constraining Ca nutrition and fruit yield and quality is temperature stress mainly due to high temperatures but also influenced by low temperature or both. Heat stress is enhanced by high solar radiation. Water excess conducting to soil water saturation or flooding – low oxygen conditions and water deficit because of permanent or alternative drought severely reduce calcium uptake. They occur even during a few weeks’ intervals. Intensity and duration of rain, drought periods, high solar radiation, and heat and its repetition through the crop growing cycle may show calcium uptake, translocation, and allocation reductions. Wind also reduces fruit quality by enhancing leaf and dust abrasion in low calcium fruits. All these factors result in short fingers, hand and finger malformations, maturity stain physiological disorder, higher susceptibility to fruit scalds and spots, and lower bunch weight in bananas. Pineapple’s negative effects occur as less growth and extended time to flowering forcing, fruit with a smaller caliper, malformations, lower weight, and quality. Proper source, timing, and mode of application of soil calcium fertilizer in response to the variations of climatic factors through the year and continuous foliar calcium fertilizer application in bananas are crucial. Adequate continuous calcium foliar fertilizer application with precise timing according to crop-growing cycle and climate are needed in pineapples. Integrated approaches including using root enhancers and biostimulants along with proper irrigation and drainage systems, heat stress protectants, and wind protection technics mitigate abiotic factors’ negative effects on pineapple and banana calcium nutrition.
Ortiz, R.A. (2022). Abiotic stress factors influencing calcium nutrition of export bananas (Musa sp.) and pineapples (Ananas comosus) in Central America. Acta Hortic. 1333, 99-106
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1333.14
bananas, pineapples, calcium, abiotic stress, Central America, tropical

Acta Horticulturae