Increasing interest in the commercial development of breadfruit as a crop for food and nutrition security in tropical areas requires that consideration be given to production systems. Traditionally, breadfruit has been grown on farms as a minor crop in mixed tree crop systems or as one or a few trees, mainly on the border of smallholdings. In both systems, the tree is planted at wide spacing because of the large size typical of breadfruit cultivars in the Caribbean, which limits pure stand production. New cultivars are now available and can be evaluated for their suitability for planting at closer spacings. Since flowering and consequently, fruit production in breadfruit appears to be influenced by light, it is important to assess the size of trees and their ability to intercept light. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of cultivar on tree morphology and light interception, and leaf area index in juvenile breadfruit trees, determines the relationship between light interception, leaf area index and tree dimensions, and consider the implications for managing a pure stand breadfruit orchard. The study was conducted at the University of the West Indies field Station (UFS) at Valsayn, Trinidad, using five breadfruit cultivars in a pure stand planting of 22 trees. The cultivars were Ma'afala (M), White (W), Local Yellow (LY), Jamaican Maka (JM), and Breadnut (BN).Tree dimensions, including tree height, canopy depth and canopy width were measured and data on Leaf Area Index (LAI) and light interception were collected. The results showed that cultivar had a very highly significant (p<0.001) effects on LAI, but not on light interception (p<0.164). The information provided has implications for breadfruit tree and orchard management, and productivity in the Caribbean.


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