Spatial-temporal variability of leaf chlorophyll and its relationship with cocoa yield

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate the spatial-temporal variability of leaf chlorophyll index and its relationship with cocoa yield. The experiment was carried out in an experimental area of cocoa production located in Ilhéus, Bahia State, Brazil. Leaf chlorophyll content was measured in September, October, January, February, March and April in the 2014/2015 season, at each sampling point of a regular grid by using a portable chlorophyll meter. Under the same conditions, yield was evaluated and the data were submitted to descriptive statistics and a linear correlation study. Geostatistical analysis was used to determine and quantify the spatial and temporal variability of leaf chlorophyll index and yield. Leaf chlorophyll index varied over the period evaluated, but the months of February, March and April showed no spatial dependence in the study area, indicating absence of temporal stability. Cocoa monthly yield, except in January, presented high spatial variability. Under the conditions of this study, it was not possible to establish a relationship between leaf chlorophyll index and cocoa yield.