In a global climate change environment, assuring optimal growing conditions is a difficult challenge, compromising the food supply for a rapidly rising population. The climatic conditions in the protected environment lead to high temperatures and fast insect development, impacting productivity and vegetables qualitative attributes. Consumers’ interest in healthy food requires sustainable tools to manage biotic and abiotic factors and, from this perspective, anti-insect nets represent an excellent “green” solution. For this purpose, our goal was to compare two different anti-insect nets on microclimate, production, and qualitative traits of Cucurbita pepo L. fresh fruits. The experiment was conducted in three separate polyethylene high tunnels, with 50 mesh anti-insect nets of different porosities being installed on the openings of two tunnels, while the third tunnel was a control without nets. Microclimate measurements, as well as yield, physiological, and phytochemicals variables, were assessed. The 50 mesh net led to a decrease in marketable yield (22.5%), fruit number (18.0%), CO2 net assimilation rate (6.0%), and transpiration rate (29.5%). Total soluble solids, antioxidant activities and total ascorbic acid concentration had an opposite trend. The 50 mesh AirPlus net improved quality aspects of zucchini fruits by increasing total ascorbic acid, total phenols, and antioxidant compounds, with no negative impact on yield.

Improved Porosity of Insect Proof Screens Enhances Quality Aspects of Zucchini Squash without Compromising the Yield

2020

Abstract

In a global climate change environment, assuring optimal growing conditions is a difficult challenge, compromising the food supply for a rapidly rising population. The climatic conditions in the protected environment lead to high temperatures and fast insect development, impacting productivity and vegetables qualitative attributes. Consumers’ interest in healthy food requires sustainable tools to manage biotic and abiotic factors and, from this perspective, anti-insect nets represent an excellent “green” solution. For this purpose, our goal was to compare two different anti-insect nets on microclimate, production, and qualitative traits of Cucurbita pepo L. fresh fruits. The experiment was conducted in three separate polyethylene high tunnels, with 50 mesh anti-insect nets of different porosities being installed on the openings of two tunnels, while the third tunnel was a control without nets. Microclimate measurements, as well as yield, physiological, and phytochemicals variables, were assessed. The 50 mesh net led to a decrease in marketable yield (22.5%), fruit number (18.0%), CO2 net assimilation rate (6.0%), and transpiration rate (29.5%). Total soluble solids, antioxidant activities and total ascorbic acid concentration had an opposite trend. The 50 mesh AirPlus net improved quality aspects of zucchini fruits by increasing total ascorbic acid, total phenols, and antioxidant compounds, with no negative impact on yield.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12572/505
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