Introduction. Mango productivity
is low in seasonally wet-dry tropical areas where breeding programs
require information on factors affecting productivity of mango cultivars.
Specifically, our study tested a novel hypothesis that, among Australian-
and Florida-bred cultivars, the greater growth of vegetatively vigorous
cultivars would contribute to lower levels of fruit production in comparison
with less vegetatively vigorous cultivars, in a wet-dry tropical environment.
Materials and methods. A field experiment was conducted
on trees of the cultivars ‘Kensington Pride’ and ‘Strawberry’, both polyembryonic
cultivars, and ‘Haden’, ‘Irwin’ and ‘Tommy Atkins’, all monoembryonic
cultivars. Results. Shoot growth was recorded over
two years; in both years the polyembryonic cultivars produced more
new shoot length than the monoembryonic cultivars; ‘Irwin’ was the
least vigorous cultivar in both years. Across cultivars, there was
a negative relationship between normalised (by flowering intensity and
canopy area) fruit number or yield and vegetative vigour as represented
by new shoot length. Conclusion. The results supported
the hypothesis that the greater shoot growth of vegetatively vigorous
cultivars contributed to lower levels of fruit production in comparison
with less vegetatively vigorous cultivars in a tropical environment.
This is the first study which demonstrates that the extent of seasonal
shoot growth had a fruit production cost for mango.