EVALUATION OF GROWTH AND ECOLOGICAL ADAPTATION OF OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA (L.) MILL. ECOTYPES IN CERRILLOS, PROVINCE OF SALTA, ARGENTINA
The adaptation of 18 ecotypes of cactus pear to Cerrillos ecological conditions was evaluated. Growth was determined by measuring length, width and thickness of the cladodes and the vegetative and reproductive buds were counted weekly. Ecotype 1278 had the highest number of vegetative buds (12.33), reaching maximum growth in a period of 10 weeks and stabilizing its size at 31.00 cm of cladode length and 12.00 cm of diameter. Ecotype 1320 had an average of 12 vegetative buds per plant, with a similar behaviour as ecotype 1278. In ecotype 1376, 8.33 vegetative buds per plant were observed. Rapid growth was related to rainfall, averaging 344.6 mm in January. Ecotypes 1321, 1319, 1270 and Manzana had few sprouts (1.0, 0.65, 1.0 and 1.33 vegetative buds per plant respectively). The cladodes of ecotype 1321 reached 16.00 cm in length and Manzana cladodes 17.25 cm. During the reporting period there was no differentiation of reproductive structures in any of the populations studied. Ecotypes 1255, 1321, 1294, 1281, 1282, 1267 and Manzana had average growth habits; ecotypes 1379, 1320 and 1270 had arborescent type habit; Santiagueña ecotype was of upright habit; and finally, ecotype 1233 was included in the extended type of habit. The cactus pear is a species with great adaptability to arid conditions. Increase in the size of ecotypes, perhaps, responded to a great period of humidity.
Ortín, S.P., Ramón, J.P., Lozano , L.B., Tejerina, M.M. and Toncovich, M.E. (2013). EVALUATION OF GROWTH AND ECOLOGICAL ADAPTATION OF OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA (L.) MILL. ECOTYPES IN CERRILLOS, PROVINCE OF SALTA, ARGENTINA. Acta Hortic. 995, 51-56
phenology, prickly pear, vegetative and reproductive buds