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Sustainable rubber production through good latex harvesting practices: stimulation based on clonal latex functional typology and tapping panel management

Lacote R., Doumbia A., Obouayeba S., Gohet E.. 2013. In : IRRDB. IRRDB Workshop on Latex Harvesting Technology, Binh Duong, Vietnam, November 19th-22nd, 2013. s.l. : s.n., 18 p.. IRRDB Workshop on Latex Harvesting Technology, 2013-11-19/2013-11-22, Binh Duong (Viet Nam).

The purpose of this study was to characterize the long-term behaviour of the rubber tree under different ethephon stimulation treatments and under different panel management strategies. Over a period of seven years in Côte d'Ivoire, the effect of a gradient of ethephon stimulation frequencies on yield and latex cell biochemistry was compared in four rubber tree clones, IRCA130, IRCA230, GT1 and PB217. The ability of the trees to produce more latex under ethephon stimulation was related to the sucrose and inorganic phosphorus contents of the latex cells. For high-yielding clones with low sugar content and high inorganic phosphorus content like IRCA130, no stimulation was necessary to improve yield. Conversely, the effect of ethephon stimulation on latex yield increase was significant in clones with high sucrose content and low inorganic phosphorus content such as PB217. Clones IRCA230 and GT1 had an intermediary behaviour, explained by a median sucrose content. These results will help planters to optimize latex production by choosing the most adapted ethephon stimulation to clones according to their latex cells biochemistry and their position in a clonal functional typology. A comparison of two tapping panel management strategies of rubber plots was also performed, differing by the number of panel changes: 1 and 7 panel's changes over a total period of 9 years. These treatments were applied to the clones PB260, GT1 and PB217. The panel management strongly influenced annual yield in each of the clones tested. No panel changing appeared detrimental to immediate latex production after 6 consecutive years of tapping on panel BO-1. However, after 9 years, the cumulated rubber yield obtained with one panel change only was as high as that of treatments with more changes.

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