Connor, D.J. and Centeno Muñoz, Ana and Gómez-del-Campo, Maria
Yield determination in olive hedgerow orchards. II. Analysis
of radiation and fruiting profiles.
"Crop & Pasture Science", v. 60
Profiles of fruit density, fruit size, and oil content were measured on 12 occasions in 7 olive orchards in Spain and
2 in Australia. Orchard structure varied widely. Height ranged from 2.0 to 5.5 m, row spacing from 3 to 6 m, and canopy width from 0.7 to 3m. Most orchards were oriented north–south (N–S) but one in Spain was oriented close to east–west (E–W)(208NE–SW). All orchards in Spain were cv. Arbequina, and in Australia they were cvv. Barnea and Picual. Analyses with a model of interception and transmission that estimated interception by individual sides of hedgerows revealed that fruit size and oil content were strongly related to intercepted radiation during the month before harvest across all orchards. Relationships were also evident between fruit density and interception but varied among orchards and years, indicating the importance of other environmental and probably physiological effects. In N–S orchards of cv. Arbequina, average fruit size and oil content increased linearly from 0.40 g (dry weight) to 0.72 g, and from 36 to 49% (of dry weight), as daily intercepted PAR increased from 6 to 25 mol/m2 (15–60% of horizontally incident radiation). The general principles of response extended to E–W orchards. There, it was shown that generally large fruit with high oil content on S sides was consistent with the plateau responses to radiation evident in the more extensive N–S data. On the N side, however, and accounting for transmission through the hedgerow, both fruit size and oil content were greater than in positions intercepting equivalent radiation inN–S orchards. Examples are provided of the utility of responses of fruit density, size, and oil content in establishing combinations of row height, row width, and row distance to improve or maintain productivity in some of the orchards included in the study.