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The impact of summer rainfall on alternate bearing of mangosteen (Garcinia Mangostana L.) in Southern Thailand

Sdoodee, S., Sakdiseata, N.
Acta horticulturae 2013 no.975 pp. 373-378
Garcinia mangostana, alternate bearing, climate change, flowering, fruit quality, mangosteens, rain, summer, tree growth, trees, vegetative growth, water stress, Thailand
Southern Thailand normally has rainfall conditions which favour mangosteen production. However, mangosteen trees also require a certain degree of water stress during summer or during the pre-flowering period for flower induction. Recently, unusual rainfall during summer has caused strong vegetative growth of tree in the off-year leading to irregular yielding. This may have been due to the effects of climatic change. Therefore, the effects of rainfall distribution on alternate bearing of mangosteen were investigated in Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province, southern Thailand during four consecutive years (2004-2007). It was evident that the yields of the off-year (2004 and 2006) trees were relatively low because of summer rainfall. While the on-year (2005 and 2007) trees exposed to water stress during summer produced high yield. In 2007, an extreme on-year with profuse flowering occurred, but low fruit-quality was greatly influenced by the high crop load. With the assessment of an alternate bearing index [ABI = (year 1 yield-year 2 yield) ÷ (year 1 yield + year 2 yield)], ABI of year 1-2, year 2-3 and year 3-4 were 0.25, 0.38 and 0.57, respectively. This indicates that severity of alternate bearing in mangosteen progressively increases over time. Therefore, the improvement of cultural management strategies is needed to minimize alternate bearing.