Table of Contents
ISRN Agronomy
Volume 2012, Article ID 461674, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/461674
Research Article

Floral Phenology of Upper Amazon Cocoa Trees: Implications for Reproduction and Productivity of Cocoa

1Technology Consultancy Centre, College of Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
2Department of Wildlife and Range Management, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
3Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 18 April 2012; Accepted 5 June 2012

Academic Editors: D. J. Cherney and M. Ruiz

Copyright © 2012 M. K. Adjaloo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

A study of the floral phenology of cocoa trees was carried out between 2006 and 2008 at Kubease in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, using one hundred cocoa trees from ten farm plots. The objective was to assess the contribution of floral phenology to the productivity of cocoa. Cocoa like all tropical tree species exhibited seasonally-related phenological patterns involving overlapping cycles under both intrinsic and extrinsic controls. However, unlike most tropical plants, flowering was in the rainy season. The production of new pods or cherelles increased during the major rainy season (June, July, and August), but was evenly distributed from the minor to the dry season. Production of small and medium pods peaked in August whereas production of large pods peaked in October. There was a positive correlation between new pod production and pods abortion (r = 0.69; n = 100; P < 0.05). Temperature, light intensity, and rainfall positively affected production of floral buds and production of open flowers. However, rainfall had the greatest influence on the phenological cycle of the cocoa plant. The floral phenological pattern also coincided with the activity of the main pollinators of cocoa which resulted in enhanced reproductive capacity for increased production of cocoa.