Physiology: the doorway to knowledge of productive potential
The study of production physiology helps us understand the productive potential of a variety and fluctuations in yields. ASD’s investigations in this field have studied the vegetative characteristics and some physiological variables of compact materials (clones and varieties), finding that these have particular characteristics (besides short leaves and short trunks) that differentiate them from the traditional varieties like Deli x AVROS (with more vigorous vegetative growth), which can explain the high productive potential in these clones.
One important detail that has been clarified with this research is the fact that some concepts and procedures developed to study the behavior and vegetative development of traditional varieties (with vigorous vegetative growth) must be modified and adapted to compact varieties; such as those for estimating leaf area, leaf weight and light interception, among others. Another interesting feature of some compact clones (possibly due to their 'oleifera' genes) is the orientation and spatial arrangement of the leaflets, which seems to give them an advantage intercepting sunlight. More details of this research appear in issue number 32 of the ASD Oil Palm Papers.