Methods for Estimating Optimum Plot Size for ‘Gigante’ Cactus Pear

  •  Bruno V. C. Guimarães    
  •  Sérgio L. R. Donato    
  •  Ignacio Aspiazú    
  •  Alcinei M. Azevedo    
  •  Abner J. de Carvalho    


The optimum plot size for ‘Gigante’ cactus pear can be estimated by several methods; thus, ultimately aiming for efficiency, simple use and high precision, the objective of this study was to compare methods for estimating plot sizes: modified maximum curvature method, Hatheway’s convenient plot size method, linear and quadratic response plateau models, and comparison of variances method for evaluating phenotypic characteristics in experiments with ‘Gigante’ cactus pear. Plot sizes were estimated by conducting a uniformity trial. Estimated optimum plot sizes varied with the method and vegetative characteristic. The quadratic response plateau regression estimated the largest plot sizes, whereas Hatheway’s method estimated the smallest plot sizes. Comparison of variances method estimated intermediate plot sizes in comparison with the other methods for most measured characteristics. Plots sizes estimated by modified maximum curvature method are more consistent with results reported by studies on ‘Gigante’ cactus pear. 10 basic unit plot sizes estimated by the linear response plateau model can be used with high precision and practical feasibility for growing cactus pear, thereby improving the use of resources.

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