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Studies on the effects of the microclimatic environment surrounding the fruit regarding the fruit quality of late maturing citrus varieties 1. relationship between fruit quality fruit set position in a canopy and microclimatic environment surrounding the fukuhara orange citrus sinensis



Studies on the effects of the microclimatic environment surrounding the fruit regarding the fruit quality of late maturing citrus varieties 1. relationship between fruit quality fruit set position in a canopy and microclimatic environment surrounding the fukuhara orange citrus sinensis



Bulletin of the Fruit Tree Research Station Series D (Kuchinotsu) (7): 39-56



The effects of microclimatic environment, mainly fruit temperature and light intensity surrounding the fruit, on the fruit quality of 'Fukuhara Orange', C. sinensis Osb., was studied in 2 experiments carried out in a commercial orchard in the town of Kazusa in Nagasaki Prefecture [Japan]. Fruit taken from 24 different locations (4 direction, 3 heights and outer or inner side of the trees' crown) at harvest time (Feb.) from six 20-yr-old trees were used to study variations in fruit quality. Citric acid content in the juice of the fruit located at the southern and western sides of tree canopy were higher than that at the eastern and northern sides. Reducing sugar percent of the fruit located at the eastern side of tree canopy was lowest. Both total sugar and citric acid content and reducing sugar percent in the juice of the fruit located at the top position of the tree canopy (250 cm high) were higher than that of lower position (50 cm high). Sugar content and reducing sugar percent in the juice of the fruit located at the outer side of the trees' crown were higher than that of inner side, but the citric acid content in the juice changed according to the direction and height of the canopy. Light intensity (50 cm inside from the surface of the crown) of the southern and western sides of the tree canopy were higher than that of the northern and eastern sides, and it was higher at the upper position when observed in summer. The air temperature of the southern and western sides of the tree canopy was higher by about 1.degree. C than that of the northern and eastern sides. The temperature of the peel surface and fruit flesh at the southern and western sides of the tree canopy were markedly higher than those of the northern and eastern sides, and they were somewhat higher at the lower position, and markedly higher at the outer side of tree crown than that of the inner side. The surface temperature of the fruit showed the same trends in that of the surface of the peel and flesh. The fruit located at the southern side of tree canopy grew larger, and contained a higher content of sugar in the juice, and the peel color was much better. The fruit located at the top position contained a higher content of total sugar and reducing sugar, with much better peel coloring. The fruit located at the outer side of tree's crown contained a higher sugar content, especially a higher reducing sugar content, and better coloring too. These increases in the sugar content of reducing sugar percent and coloring were apparently the result of the higher light intensity surrounding the fruit and the higher fruit temperature. The differences in the sugar composition were more marked at the early stage of growth. The citric acid in the juice of the southern side or outer side of fruit in the canopy was lower at the early stage of growth, but it was somewhat higher for fruit on the southern side than the fruit on the northern side for the mature stage. The larger the size of the fruit, the less citric acid there was in the juice, but there was no difference in sugar content for the mature stage. This is apparently due to a higher dilution rate for the larger fruit. Larger fruit attained faster coloring.

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