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Relationship between the tapping cut length and the parameters of vegetative growth and rubber yield of Hevea brasiliensis, clones GT 1 and PB 235 in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire

Obouayeba S., Soumahin E.F., Okoma K.M., N'Guessan A.E.B., Lacote R., Coulibaly L.F., Aké S.. 2011. Journal of Crop Science, 2 (2) : p. 27-44.

The management of the bark of rubber tree over a long period is a major concern for rubber planters in order to cope with problems of early replanting due to limited financial means. One of the efficient solutions to this concern is tapping with less longer tapping cuts. The reduction of the tapping cut length in reverse tapping permits to manage better the tapping panel, to improve the productivity of the tapper and to increase the economical life span of rubber trees. On that respect, a study was conducted during six years in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire in order to determine the length(s) of tapping cut, in downward tapping, which would provide a suitable solution to the problem of rubber farmers. The influence of the reduction of the tapping cut length on the parameters of yield, radial vegetative growth and physiological profile is evaluated in clones GT 1 and PB 235 of Hevea brasiliensis. Half, third, quarter and eighth spiral tapping cuts were compared to each other and to a full spiral cut (control). The reduction of the tapping cuts length induces losses in rubber yield compared with the control which yet are not proportional to the reduction of the tapping cuts length. The yield per centimetre of tapping cut is more important with the short cuts than the long cuts. Very strong correlations were determinate between tapping intensity and rubber yield, tapping intensity and annual mean girth increment and between tapping intensity and physiological parameters (DRC and Pi). The curve tendency equations were also determinate. In terms of rubber yield, the PB 235 fits the reduction of the tapping cut length better than the GT 1. The reduction of tapping cuts length favours a better vegetative radial growth. It does not impair the physiological profile of the trees which show signs of under-exploitation.

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; rendement des cultures; croissance; physiologie végétale; récolte; latex; côte d'ivoire

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