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Can fertilization be a driver of rubber plantation intensification?

Chotiphan R., Vaysse L., Lacote R., Gohet E., Thaler P., Sajjaphan K., Bottier C., Char C., Liengprayoon S., Gay F.. 2019. Industrial Crops and Products, 141 : 11 p..

Improving the productivity of existing rubber plantations is necessary to cope with the growing demand for natural rubber (NR) while limiting the environmental and social impacts linked to the expansion of rubber cultivation at the expense of natural ecosystems and food crops. The effect of fertilization on NR yield is still unclear and is poorly documented particularly in Thailand, the world leader in NR production. Hence, the main objective of this study was to re-assess the possible effects of fertilization on the yield of intensively managed rubber plantations in Thailand. Our main hypothesis was that the effect of fertilization would be higher with intensive latex harvesting practices (high tapping frequency with ethylene stimulation). To test this hypothesis, we set-up a split-plot experiment with four fertilization doses (T1, no fertilization, T2, T3, T4, respectively low, medium and high doses of NPK fertilizer) and two tapping systems (S/2 d2 with and without ethylene stimulation). Here, we present the results of the first three years on dry rubber yield, latex metabolism assessed with the latex diagnosis method, and latex and rubber properties related to their technological properties. Our results showed a positive effect of fertilization on yield from the first year, but the effect was only statistically significant (p?

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; thaïlande

Thématique : Fertilisation; Physiologie et biochimie végétales

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