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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 328: International Workshop on Greenhouse Crop Models

GROWTH OF A TOMATO CROP

Author:   A.N.M. de Koning
Keywords:   Tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, model validation, leaf area, dry weight, glasshouse
Abstract:
In order to obtain appropriate data for validation of crop growth models, weekly non-destructive measurements of 6 plants of a commercially grown tomato crop (cv. 'Calypso') were combined with destructive measurements every 4 weeks from February until November. Weekly "above-ground" fresh weight growth was highly correlated with weekly light integrals received by the crop, but light utilization efficiency (weight increase per unit of light) was higher for the first semester. Leaf area index (LAI) dramatically decreased from 3 in March to 1.3 in August, resulting from a strong decrease of the specific leaf area (SLA) from 250 cm2.g-1 in spring to 100 cm2.g-1 in summer. Total amount of dry matter partitioned to the leaves appeared to be constant. Dry matter content of leaves increased from 9% in spring to 14% in summer. The decrease of LAI was the main cause of the observed decrease of light utilization efficiency, due to reduced light interception by the crop. Fruit dry matter content varied from 5.1 % in spring to 6.4 % in summer. Total fruit yield of the 6 plants was 51.7 kg.m-2, 84% of the total "above ground" fresh weight growth. Estimated performance (roots excluded) in dry weight was 4.15 kg.m-2, partitioned for 2.96 (72%), 0.76 (18%) and 0.43 kg.m-2 (10%) over fruits, leaves and stem, respectively.
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