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Table 5 Influence of constant and changing temperatures on shoot structure and flowering of apple trees as assessed by out-door performance in the subsequent spring following overwintering in a cold store at 1 °C (2017 experiment)

From: Temperature control of shoot growth and floral initiation in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.)

Temperature (℃) Flowering nodes (%) Vegetative nodes (%) Non-breaking nodes (%) Nodes per tree Flower cluster per tree Flowers per tree
12 °C cont. 5.6 da 75.2 a 18.8 b 181.0 c 9.0 c 25.8 b
18 °C cont. 49.3 a 24.2 d 26.4 ab 225.2 bc 97.8 ab 381.0 a
24 °C cont. 33.7 ab 27.2 d 39.1 ab 367.8 a 128.0 a 375.0 a
27 °C cont. 11.0 cd 42.7 cd 46.3 a 399.6 a 43.2 bc 115.2 b
1224 °C 14.8 bcd 56.9 abc 28.3 ab 209.8 bc 34.8 bc 105.8 b
1827 °C 17.6 bcd 45.3 bcd 37.0 ab 290.3 abc 45.3 bc 152.5 b
2412 °C 21.1 bcd 48.4 bcd 30.6 ab 264.5 abc 48.5 bc 176.5 ab
2718 °C 30.3 abc 29.3 d 40.4 ab 355.8 ab 97.8 ab 376.5 a
Ambient 9.5 cd 68.2 ab 22.3 ab 219.0 bc 19.5 c 66.5 b
Mean 21.8 46.0 32.2 280.6 59.3 199.9
P-value < 0.001 < 0.001 0.03 < 0.001 < 0.001 < 0.001
  1. The data are means of four trees from each treatment
  2. aAll values are means of four replications, with one three in each treatment. Mean values in the same column followed by different lower-case letters are significantly different (P ≤ 0.005) for the different temperature treatments