Special Issue "Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Theocharis Chatzistathis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil and Water Resources, Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
Interests: organic and inorganic fertilization; plant nutrition; Olea europaea L.; Vitis vinifera L.; vegetable crops; horticultural crops; sustainable horticulture; sustainable nutrient management; sustainable crop management; soil fertility; organic matter; nutrient use efficiency
Dr. Ioannis E. Papadakis
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Laboratory of Pomology, Department of Crop Science, School of Plant Sciences, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 118 55 Athens, Greece
Interests: plant nutrition and fertilization; abiotic stresses (nutrient deficiencies, drought, salinity, waterlogging, etc.); sexual and asexual propagation of fruit tree species; evaluation of fruit tree cultivars and rootstock; effect of various cultural practices on tree yield and fruit quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Thomas Sotiropoulos
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Breeding and Genetic Resources – Department of Deciduous Fruit Trees in Naoussa, Hellenic Agricultural Organization-Demeter, 59200 Naoussa, Greece
Interests: fruit science; fruit quality; Pomology; fertilization
Dr. Victor Kavvadias
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Hellenic Agricultural Organization “DEMETER”, Department of Soil Science of Athens, Institute of Soil and Water Resources, Lykovrysi, Greece

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Field products’ quality—and especially tree fruit quality—cannot be ameliorated after harvest and, therefore, a deeper understanding of how to manipulate the pre-harvest factors with the aim to maintain and/or maximize the quality of products going into storage is of crucial importance. On the other hand, food safety for the global population also demands high yields (field productivity), not only product quality. The effects of pre-harvest factors on field productivity, and especially on the ultimate quality of harvested products (fruits), are often overlooked and underestimated, although a wide spectrum of these factors, including environmental conditions and field management practices, directly or indirectly influences tree productivity and the qualitative characteristics of field crops’ products. Particularly, climatic conditions (temperature, precipitations), soil fertility, genotype selection, fertilization, irrigation, pest control, and harvest time play a crucial role in determining post-harvest quality attributes (such as color, flavor, texture, and nutritional value of the harvested product), deterioration, and, subsequently, consumers’ decision to purchase the product in the market places.

This Special Issue focuses on the role of pre-harvest factors in controlling field productivity and determining the product quality of tree crops, with a major emphasis on the best agronomic practices, and enabling tools for obtaining high yields and products with high and stable quality. This issue will tend to highly interdisciplinary studies embracing disciplines from agriculture and biology, to chemistry and human nutrition. All types of articles, such as original research and reviews are welcome.

Dr. Theocharis Chatzistathis
Dr. Ioannis E. Papadakis
Dr. Thomas Sotiropoulos
Dr. Victor Kavvadias
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • organic fertilization
  • plant nutrition
  • horticulture
  • pomology
  • nutrient uptake
  • plant protection
  • agro-ecosystems
  • fruit quality
  • field crops
  • field productivity
  • environment
  • climate change
  • soil properties
  • soil fertility
  • genotypes
  • pest management

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Summer Pruning, an Eco-Friendly Approach to Controlling Bitter Pit and Preserving Sensory Quality in Highly Vigorous Apple cv. ‘Reinette du Canada’
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1081; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111081 - 01 Nov 2021
Viewed by 348
Abstract
Summer pruning reduces vegetative growth in apple trees, but it could have an impact on fruit quality. This study analyzed the effects of summer pruning as an eco-friendly pre-harvest alternative to chemical growth regulation inputs on instrumental and sensory quality of highly vigorous [...] Read more.
Summer pruning reduces vegetative growth in apple trees, but it could have an impact on fruit quality. This study analyzed the effects of summer pruning as an eco-friendly pre-harvest alternative to chemical growth regulation inputs on instrumental and sensory quality of highly vigorous apple cv. ‘Reinette du Canada’, which has been awarded with a Protected Designation of Origin label in two environments. The results showed that summer pruning affected the mineral content of the fruit. Summer pruning reduced bitter pit, but it did not negatively affect fruit weight nor any other instrumental characteristic during storage. Moreover, sensory quality or degree of liking were not affected by summer pruning. Thus, summer pruning could be an eco-friendly pre-harvest alternative to chemical treatments to improve quality in global terms of ‘Reinette du Canada’ apple cultivar, regardless of the location. This technique contributed to the decrease of bitter pit incidence, but did not decrease sensory quality nor degree of liking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops)
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Article
Pilot Study to Evaluate Performance of Frost-Yuzu Fruit Trees under Protected Cultivation
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070660 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
This study was initiated to observe the performance of yuzu (Citrusjunos Sieb. ex Tanaka) fruit trees when affected by a late freezing in 2018 and to evaluate the recovery of frost-damaged trees during post management under protected cultivation. A—4.9 °C of [...] Read more.
This study was initiated to observe the performance of yuzu (Citrusjunos Sieb. ex Tanaka) fruit trees when affected by a late freezing in 2018 and to evaluate the recovery of frost-damaged trees during post management under protected cultivation. A—4.9 °C of minimum daily temperature and 40-day drought occurred during dormancy, which then received heavy precipitation between early- and mid-March, with 15 m s−1 more than maximum instantaneous wind speeds frequently observed. This resulted in observed decreases in height, width and volume as well as in fruiting, fruit weight and yield, as well as yield index in 60–90% defoliated yuzu trees, in addition to higher rates of shoot dieback compared to trees that experienced only 0–30% defoliation. Lower performance and recovery rates of trees grown on flat land compared to trees on sloped land were also observed. Tree and net windbreaks did not significantly affect tree vegetative growth and fruit productivity but were found to have lowered shoot mortality in 2018 and 2019. Mulch with an irrigation after freezing or foliar urea application was shown to effectively increase vegetative tree growth and fruit productivity and reduce shoot mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops)
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Review

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Review
Organic Fertilization and Tree Orchards
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 692; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11080692 - 23 Jul 2021
Viewed by 667
Abstract
Organic fertilization has been proposed as an alternative approach to supply nutrients for crops, in the frame of organic and sustainable agriculture, with the aim to decrease high inorganic fertilization rates, protect the environment and decrease production costs for farmers. Since different types [...] Read more.
Organic fertilization has been proposed as an alternative approach to supply nutrients for crops, in the frame of organic and sustainable agriculture, with the aim to decrease high inorganic fertilization rates, protect the environment and decrease production costs for farmers. Since different types of organic fertilizers, such as manures, olive mill wastewater (OMW), sewage sludge (SS), crushed pruning wastes, composts and cover crops, exist as soil amendments to improve soil fertility, enhance plant nutrition and sustain the productivity of tree crops, their role as biofertilizers has been fully analyzed under the most important published papers. In addition, the benefits and drawbacks of organic fertilization, in a comparative approach with inorganic fertilization, are presented and discussed. Within the most important advantages of organic fertilizers, the enhancement of beneficial soil microorganisms and the improvement in soil physical properties and fertility should be included, while their most important disadvantage is their inability to directly satisfy the prompt N nutritional needs of tree crops, due to slow N mineralization rates. Finally, some novel aspects on the interrelation among innovative organic fertilizers for tree crops, sustainable field management, crop productivity and fruit quality are also included in this review, under the light of the most important and recent research data existing in the literature, with the aim to provide recommendations and future directions for organic fertilizers by tree growers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops)
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Review
A Review of Potassium-Rich Crop Residues Used as Organic Matter Amendments in Tree Crop Agroecosystems
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 580; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070580 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 655
Abstract
Ecosystem-based approaches to nutrient management are needed to satisfy crop nutrient requirements while minimizing environmental impacts of fertilizer use. Applying crop residues as soil amendments can provide essential crop nutrient inputs from organic sources while improving nutrient retention, soil health, water conservation, and [...] Read more.
Ecosystem-based approaches to nutrient management are needed to satisfy crop nutrient requirements while minimizing environmental impacts of fertilizer use. Applying crop residues as soil amendments can provide essential crop nutrient inputs from organic sources while improving nutrient retention, soil health, water conservation, and crop performance. Tree crop hulls, husks, and shells have been found to contain high concentrations of potassium across species including almond, cacao, coffee, pecan, and hazelnut. The objective of this review is to characterize organic sources of potassium focusing on lignocellulosic pericarps and discuss reported effects of surface application on potassium cycling, water dynamics, soil functionality, and crop yield. Research indicates potassium ions solubilize readily from plant material into soil solution due to potassium’s high mobility as a predominately unbound monatomic cation in plant tissues. Studies evaluating tree crop nutshells, field crop residues, and forest ecosystem litter layers indicate this process of potassium release is driven primarily by water and is not strongly limited by decomposition. Research suggests orchard floor management practices can be tailored to maximize the soil and plant benefits provided by this practice. Contextual factors influencing practice adoption and areas for future study are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organic Management and Productivity of Tree Crops)
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