This chapter highlights a survey of vegetable-producing areas to determine the occurrence, distribution and importance of Parthenium hysterophorus in Trinidad. The weed can significantly reduce crop yields and quality due to its aggressive growth habit, competitiveness and allelopathic interference. Due to its invasive capacity and allelopathic properties, Parthenium hysterophorus has the potential to disrupt the natural ecosystem and threaten the biodiversity. It is a difficult weed to manage, and a wide variety of methods, starting with prevention and containment, is necessary to reduce the incidence and spread of this weed. An integrated approach using cultural, physical, chemical and biological techniques is necessary to be successful. Focus is made on specific herbicides currently being used to manage this weed in vegetables. Despite the negative impact of this weed on the biodiversity, this chapter also explores the potential of the beneficial properties of Parthenium hysterophorous as a mechanism of management.
Part of the book: Herbicides
This chapter briefly outlines the origin of some indigenous and underutilized fruit crops found throughout Trinidad and Tobago. It also examines the current situation, current practices, and maturity standards for postharvest handling of these commodities and examines the principle causes of postharvest losses and poor quality. Finally, the chapter includes some recommendations on the best postharvest practices for these indigenous and underutilized fruits, including field harvesting practices, storage and transportation, and cool storage.
Part of the book: Postharvest Handling
The cocoa crop growth is highly influenced by environmental conditions, viz. temperature, which influence the phenological stages of flowering, fruiting, and pod growth. The plant produces caulescent flowers that are hermaphrodite and pollinated by insects, mainly Forcipomyia sp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), but flowers setting to pods are very low. The efficiency of pollination depends on the degree of pollen compatibility and the number of pollen grains deposited on the stigma. It is assumed that midge population can be a limiting factor in the pollination of cocoa in addition to the environmental conditions. However, populations of insect pollinators are often severely disturbed by hurricanes through flooding of essential habitat and the widespread loss of existing flowers. This chapter will explore the role of midges [biotic] and the effect of climate [abiotic] variables. Understanding these ecological dynamics can lead to ways of conserving midge populations, mitigating the effects of global climate change and extreme climatic events.
Part of the book: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants