LED Intercanopy Lighting in Blackberry During Spring Improves Yield as a Result of Increased Number of Fruiting Laterals and Has a Positive Carryover Effect on Autumn Yield

Anabel Rivas, Kang Liu, Ep Heuvelink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

High market price and low availability of local winter and spring production has stimulated production of blackberries in glasshouses at northern latitudes. For this production, light is the main limiting factor. We investigated the potential of intercanopy lighting (ICL) using light emitting diodes (LEDs) to improve blackberry fruit yield in a crop with a spring and an autumn production cycle. During the spring production cycle three light treatments were applied: only natural light (no ICL), 93 or 185 μmol m–2 s–1 ICL In summer the lateral shoots were cut back and 93 μmol m–2 s–1 ICL was applied to all plants after cutting back, investigating a possible carryover effect of supplemental light in spring on autumn production. Fresh fruit yield in spring increased by 79 and 122% with 93 and 185 μmol m–2 s–1 ICL, respectively, compared to no ICL. This represents 3.6 and 2.8% increase in harvestable product for every additional 1% of light. A yield component analysis and leaf photosynthesis measurements were conducted. Maximum photosynthetic capacity (Amax) for leaves at 185 μmol m–2 s–1 ICL was about 50% higher, and LAI was 41% higher compared to no ICL. ICL increased the number of fruiting laterals per cane, and this explained 75% of the increase in yield. ICL at 185 μmol m–2 s–1 resulted in a higher yield compared to no ICL, primarily as a result of higher total dry matter production. Furthermore, a higher fraction of dry matter partitioned to the fruits (0.59 compared to 0.52) contributed to yield increase, whereas fruit dry matter content and fruit quality (sugar and acid content) was not affected by ICL. Averaged over the three light treatments autumn yield was 47% lower than spring yield. Autumn yield was 10% higher for plants at ICL 93 μmol m–2 s–1 in spring and 36% higher for plants at 185 μmol m–2 s–1 in spring compared to no ICL in spring. This increased autumn yield was caused by more fruiting laterals (less necrotic buds). It is concluded that management practices in spring can have a carryover effect on the autumn production. This is the first scientific paper on the potential for applying LED ICL in blackberries. Further research should focus on optimal intensity of ICL, positioning of supplementary lighting and economic feasibility.

Original languageEnglish
Article number620642
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • blackberries
  • bud break
  • fruit quality
  • fruiting laterals
  • intercanopy lighting
  • light emitting diode
  • supplemental light
  • yield component analysis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'LED Intercanopy Lighting in Blackberry During Spring Improves Yield as a Result of Increased Number of Fruiting Laterals and Has a Positive Carryover Effect on Autumn Yield'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this