Influence of Climate on Variation of Inflorescence Traits in the Neotropical Oilseed Palm Acrocomia aculeata


CALL: 2018

DOMAIN: SR - Environmental and Earth Sciences

FIRST NAME: Catherine




HOST INSTITUTION: Universität Hohenheim

KEYWORDS: Acrocomia aculeata,Oilseed palm,Water stress,Inflorescence traits,Stable carbon isotope composition

START: 2018-10-01

END: 2021-09-30


Submitted Abstract

Acrocomia sp. are endemic to the neotropics and are a sustainable industrial and agricultural alternative to the African oil palm, with a comparable productivity and oil composition as the latter. In contrast, Acrocomia is no competition for rainforest, peatlands and fertile arable land due to its environmental plasticity and ecophysiological requirements.In oil palm and coconut, limited water availability has a negative impact on yield formation by causing a decrease in the sex ratio and increased bunch failure. In both, the time lag between stress occurrence and stress response is several months. Acrocomia is drought tolerant, however little is known about the exact impact of water stress on the reproductive biology and yield formation. Furthermore, no information about the time lag between stress occurrence and response on the inflorescence level is available, although important knowledge for agronomists and breeders.Hence, this study aims (i) to assess the impact of limited water availability on the inflorescence emergence rhythm, the inflorescence traits i.e. sex ratio and flower morphoanatomy, and (ii) to determine the time lag between stress occurrence and stress response on the inflorescence level.We assume that Acrocomia shows a higher resilience to water stress compared to other oilseed palm species, but that the inflorescence traits and inflorescence emergence rhythm are still negatively affected, so that an optimal yield formation is impaired. Furthermore, we presume that stable carbon isotope composition (d13C) can be used to pinpoint drought spells during the generative phase of Acrocomia palms and to determine the above-mentioned time lag.Therefore, the inflorescence traits and emergence rhythm of several Acrocomia genotypes will be determined at various cultivation areas in Brazil. Macro- and microclimate, and soil temperature and moisture will be monitored. Soil and plant samples will be taken for soil structure analysis and staple isotope determination, respectively.

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