OLIVE FLOWER AND FRUIT POPULATION DYNAMICS
Mature olive trees, at a planting density of 250 trees per hectare, produce about 500 000 flowers each. In excess of 98% of these flowers abscise, and only 1.2% of the population are required as fruit to establish a commercial crop. The large population of flowers and fruit cause a drain on tree reserves, make fruit persistence uncertain and induce alternate bearing. For fruit to persist, vascular connections must be in place, raw materials must be available and pollination and fertilization must occur. The events leading to pollination and fertilization will be described. Following development of background information the subject of fruit persistence will be divided between 1) ovary stimulus and 2) fruit population dynamics. Alternatives to explain the fruit persistence phenomenon will be examined.
Martin, G.C. (1990). OLIVE FLOWER AND FRUIT POPULATION DYNAMICS. Acta Hortic. 286, 141-154