Effect of canopy management in the water status of cacao (Theobroma cacao) and the microclimate within the crop area

Keywords: Leaf water potential, microenvironment, sap flow, shade management, water use

Abstract

Background: Cacao is an umbrophile species and therefore the handling of shade by producers can cause a microclimatic modification that influences the physiology of the plant.

Questions: Can canopy management influence the microclimate of the crop area and the water content of cacao?

Species of study: Theobroma cacao L. (Malvaceae).

Study site: Comalcalco, Tabasco, Mexico; dry and rainy season 2018.

Methods: Three sites were selected with an open canopy (OC) and three with a closed canopy (CC), where we determined air temperature and humidity, soil temperature, vapor pressure deficit, photosynthetically active radiation, soil water potential and leaf water potential in 15 cacao trees and the sap flow density in 12 trees, by canopy condition and by season.

Results: Higher values of solar radiation, air and soil temperature, vapor pressure deficit and lower relative humidity were recorded under OC compared to CC, in both seasons. Differences in soil water potential between 10 and 60 cm depth in CC were recorded during the dry season. There was a lower sap flow density and daily water use in OC. The leaf water potential was similar between canopy conditions, in both seasons.

Conclusions: Changes in canopy coverage significantly modify the microclimate of the crop area, a less stressful environment being generated under closed canopy conditions, influencing the sap flow density of cacao trees.

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Effect of canopy management in the water status of cacao (<em>Theobroma cacao</em>) and the microclimate within the crop area

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Published
2019-12-19
How to Cite
Jiménez-Pérez, A., Cach-Pérez, M. J., Valdez-Hernández, M., & de la Rosa-Manzano, E. (2019). Effect of canopy management in the water status of cacao (<em>Theobroma cacao</em&gt;) and the microclimate within the crop area. Botanical Sciences, 97(4), 701-710. https://doi.org/10.17129/botsci.2256
Section
PHYSIOLOGY / FISIOLOGÍA