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  • K. ACHEAMPONG (a1), P. HADLEY (a2) and A. J. DAYMOND (a2)


The physiological performance of four cacao clones was examined under three artificial shade regimes over the course of a year in Ghana. Plants under light shade had significantly higher photosynthetic rates in the rainy seasons whereas in the dry season there was a trend of higher photosynthetic rates under heavy shade. The results imply that during the wet seasons light was the main limiting factor to photosynthesis whereas in the dry season vapour pressure deficit was the major factor limiting photosynthesis through stomatal regulation. Leaf area was generally lower under heavier shade but the difference between shade treatments varied between clones. Such differences in leaf area allocation appeared to underlie genotypic differences in final biomass production in response to shade. The results suggest that shade for young cacao should be provided based on the current ambient environment and genotype.


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