Performance of Jatropha (Jatropha curcasL.) Accessions under Different Microclimate Conditions in Florida

Wagner A Vendrame, Kimberly Moore, Ann C Wilkie, Jonathan Crane, Wanda Montas

Abstract


Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) seedlings from an accession from India were established for performance trials in three different locations in Florida: the Tropical Research and Education Center (TREC) in Homestead, the Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center (FLREC) in Ft. Lauderdale, and the Energy Research and Education Park (EREP) in Gainesville. Soil analyses were performed. Data on morphological and reproductive characteristics were recorded for years 2010 and 2011. Variations in all characteristics were observed for plants at the three distinct locations. Overall, jatropha plants at TREC performed better as compared to plants at FLREC and EREP. The freezing events of 2010 and 2011 affected the growth and yield of jatropha plants. The effects of freezing were more evident for plants located at FLREC and EREP, causing a delay in flowering and consequently in fruit and seed production. High volume irrigation (TREC) proved more effective for cold protection as compared to sand mounding (FLREC and EREP). In general, plants established well and developed normally in all three locations, providing promising perspectives that jatropha can have its cultivation area expanded statewide.


Keywords


biodiesel, bioenergy crops, biojet fuel, field trials

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283