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Mango canopy management: new approaches to old issues

Normand F., Lauri P.E.. 2017. In : Bally Ian (ed.), Tran-Nguyen L. (ed.), Hall D. (ed.). Proceedings of the XI International Mango Symposium. Louvain : ISHS, p. 145-152. (Acta Horticulturae, 1183). International Mango Symposium. 11, 2015-09-28/2015-10-02, Darwin (Australie).

DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1183.20

The mango tree is a large tropical tree that often gives low and irregular yields across consecutive years. Research on canopy management has been a cornerstone to lessen, but not resolve, these problems. Mango production now faces new commercial and societal demands besides higher yields: better fruit quality, in particular sanitary and nutritional quality, and reduced impacts on the environment. These issues bring new challenges for the design of canopy management strategies, since these objectives interact and sometimes conflict. Better knowledge of mango tree canopy architecture and function, in relation to its environment, appears necessary to design appropriate canopy management practices and to deal with the necessary compromises between these objectives. The study of tree architectural development, coupled with ecophysiological research, appears relevant to tackle these points. In this paper, we draw together the current trends in terms of canopy management and vigour control for the mango tree, we present recent advances made in analysis of tree architecture and ecophysiology, and we outline research needs for the future. The importance of the cultivar factor is highlighted, leading to the conclusion that a unique canopy management strategy is probably utopian, and cultivar-specific strategies must be considered. Another key point is the necessary interdisciplinarity of these approaches, in order to gather and process ecophysiological, architectural and genetic data to design canopy management strategies. Finally, the complexity of canopy function requires a conceptual and quantitative modelling approach to synthesize knowledge and to support the design of management strategies.

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