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Open AccessAbstract

Dependence on Cross-Pollination in Macadamia and Challenges for Orchard Management

Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4111, Australia
Genecology Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD 4556, Australia
Department of Animal Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Proceedings 2019, 36(1), 76;
Published: 21 January 2020
Cross-pollination is essential for the reproduction of self-incompatible plants and it improves the yield and fruit quality of some self-compatible plants. Cross-pollination of clonal horticultural crops is achieved only when pollen from one cultivar reaches the stigma of another cultivar. We quantified self- and cross-fertilisation rates in macadamia nuts (Macadamia integrifolia, M. tetraphylla and hybrids) that were harvested at different distances from a cross-pollen source in two different plantation designs (mixed blocks of multiple cultivars vs. pure blocks of a single cultivar). We also estimated the distance of effective pollen movement, evaluated how different pollen parents affect nut quality, and assessed whether distance from a cross-pollen source affected the number of nuts harvested. We found that almost all nuts resulted from cross-pollination in both plantation designs, with almost all nuts being cross-pollinated even at 23 rows from another cultivar. However, most pollen did not travel far, and nearby cultivars were usually the pollen parent. Cross-pollination increased nut mass and changed the nutritional quality of the nut. The number of nuts harvested decreased with increasing distance from a cross-pollen source in large pure blocks, but not in mixed blocks. Dependence on cross-pollination coupled with low distances of pollen movement may cause suboptimal fruit set. Our results suggest that fruit set in macadamia plantations comprised of large single-cultivar blocks is limited and that plantations can benefit from closer interplanting of different cultivars
Keywords: cross-pollination; nut quality; nutrients; fatty acid; pollen movement; macadamia cross-pollination; nut quality; nutrients; fatty acid; pollen movement; macadamia
MDPI and ACS Style

Kämper, W.; Wallace, H.M.; Ogbourne, S.M.; Trueman, S.J. Dependence on Cross-Pollination in Macadamia and Challenges for Orchard Management. Proceedings 2019, 36, 76.

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