127. B. BOSANČIĆ, N. MIĆIĆ, M. BLANKE, M. PECINA (2018): A main effects meta principal components analysis of netting effects on fruit: using apple as a model crop. Plant Groving Regulation. Springer Nature B.V. DOI 10.1007/s10725-018-0443-z
To differentiate effects of netting and attribute them to crop, cultivar, planting density, climate, net type and colour, ca. 200 publications were scanned originally. Apple was chosen as a model crop due to the majority of reports, wide variation with many varieties and growing locations worldwide in the Northern and Southern hemisphere, but the results may be useful for other fruiting plants. After meeting strict selection criteria, a meta-analysis of 26 internationally published peer-reviewed articles was based on seven varieties and seventeen locations with a diverse range of climates. A novel Main Effects Meta Principal Components Analysis (ME Meta-PCA) was developed and provided unexpectedly uniform results: Location (climate), planting density and hail net (type and colour) had negligible impacts. Fruit (red) colour, most adversely affected by netting, correlated with TSS viz fruit sweetness, as often postulated in consumer studies, followed, to a smaller extent, by sugar/TSS, fruit firmness and acidity but small increase in fruit mass—i.e. maintenance of fruit quality under netting over all seven varieties (Braeburn, Gala, Elstar, Jonagold, Pinova and Fuji) examined and locations worldwide. While Jonagold and the early ripening Gala appeared suitable, unaffected and stable in the netting effects in the ME Meta-PCA, Pinova was the least suitable for cultivation under netting. Interestingly, late ripening cultivars (Braeburn and Cripps Pink) were both positively influenced by desired earlier ripening under netting. These effects on fruit quality are discussed with respect to shade adaptation under netting and countermeasures such as easy colouring mutants or reflective mulches.