Original Paper

Trees

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 785-799

QualiTree, a virtual fruit tree to study the management of fruit quality. II. Parameterisation for peach, analysis of growth-related processes and agronomic scenarios

  • José M. Mirás-AvalosAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH)Facultad de Ciencias, Universidade da Coruña
  • , Gregorio EgeaAffiliated withUniversidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Plaza del Cronista Isidoro ValverdeDepartment of Soil Science, School of Human and Environmental Sciences, The University of Reading
  • , Emilio NicolásAffiliated withDepartamento de Riego, Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura, CSICUnidad Asociada al CSIC de Horticultura Sostenible en Zonas Áridas (UPCT-CEBAS)
  • , Michel GénardAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH)
  • , Gilles VercambreAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH)
  • , Nicolas MoitrierAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH)
  • , Pierre ValsesiaAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH)
  • , María M. González-RealAffiliated withUniversidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Plaza del Cronista Isidoro Valverde
  • , Claude BussiAffiliated withINRA, UE695 Recherches Intégrées (UERI)
    • , Françoise LescourretAffiliated withINRA, UR1115 Plantes et Systèmes de culture Horticoles (PSH) Email author 

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Abstract

In this paper, QualiTree, a fruit tree model designed to study the management of fruit quality, and developed and described in a companion paper (Lescourret et al. in Trees Struct Funct, 2010), was combined with a simple light-interception sub-model, and then parameterised and tested on peach in different situations. Simulation outputs displayed fairly good agreement with the observed data concerning mean fruit and vegetative growth. The variability over time of fruit and vegetative growth was well predicted. QualiTree was able to reproduce the observed response of trees to heterogeneous thinning treatments in terms of fruit growth. A sensitivity analysis showed that the average seasonal growth rates of the different organs were sensitive to changes to the values of their respective initial relative growth rates and that stem wood was the tree organ the most affected by a change in the initial relative growth rates of other organs. QualiTree was able to react to simulated scenarios that combined thinning and pest attacks. As expected, thinning intensity and the percentage damage caused by pests significantly affected fruit yield and quality traits at harvest. These simulations showed that QualiTree could be a useful tool to design innovative horticultural practices.

Keywords

Carbon allocation Growth Fruit Sensitivity analysis