|Authors: ||C.R. Bojacá, R. Gil, E. Schrevens|
|Keywords: ||high altitude tropics, tomato cropping|
Throughout this presentation the Colombian tomato production in the high tropics is discussed as an example.
The high altitude tropical climate of the Bogota plateau is characterized and the necessity for protected tomato cultivation is explained.
As a consequence of the specific climate conditions in the high tropics and the climate demand of tomatoes, several adaptations to the classical Colombian plastic greenhouse, originally developed for rose and carnation, were tested.
The following strategies, mainly aiming at increased greenhouse night temperatures are discussed: glass versus polyethylene, additional heating, screening, closing of the vents.
The presented research methodologies heavily rely on system dynamic modeling and simulation.
This methodology allows optimization of the plant-climate interaction over a vast range of different micro-climates, typically the situation that occurs in the high tropics, without extensive and expensive needs for local experimentation.
It is demonstrated that the limited greenhouse effect for night time temperature buffering in Colombian plastic greenhouses is mainly due to tropical day length effects and to a lesser extent to greenhouse structures and coverage.
The extreme day and night temperatures are the main problem in the optimization of the choice of specific locations for protected tomato cultivation in the high tropics.
As a conclusion some perspectives for the Colombian protected tomato industry in particular and for the high altitude tropical production systems in general are presented.
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