Main Article Content
Samples of leaflets and fruits at different stages were collected from 6 “on-palms” and 6 “off-palms” (15-16 years) of the Fard Cultivar. Samples were dried, ashed and digested. Macro and micronutrient concentrations of K, Ca, Mg,Na, Fe, Zn, Cu and Mg were determined by ICP-AES and N was measured by Kjeldhal method. Significant changes in the elemental concentrations of leaf and fruit occurred between Kimri (green color) and Bisir (yellowish-red color) development stages. Potassium and Mg concentration was reduced in leaf and fruit. Calcium and Na were reduced in the fruit and increased in the leaf. Iron, Zn and Mn were not significantly different between Bisir and Kimi. However, Fe in the fruit and leaf increased between Kimri and Bisir and decreased from Bisir to Rutab stages. The concentration of Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn was higher in the leaf than fruit. In contrast K, Zn and Cu were higher in the fruit. Higher Ca and Mg in leaves through the developmental stages were associated with higher concentration of K in the fruit than the leaf. These variations in the leaf and fruit elemental concentration were associated with physiological and biochemical changes during fruit development. Significant differences in the fruit elemental concentrations between the “on” (high yield producing) and “off” (low yield producing) palms during the developmental stages were in Ca, K, Mn and Fe and in the leaf in Mg and K. However, the general trend during Rutab (honey color, soft tissue) indicates that “off-palm” leaves have higher N, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu and Mn than “on-palm” leaves. Potassium and Na were higher in the “on-palm” leaves than “off-palm” leaves. But in the fruit, Rutab Ca, Mg, Fe, and Zn content followed similar trends as in the “off-palm” leaves; in contrast to leaves, K and Na were higher in “off-palms” fruits and Cu and Mn higher in “on-palm” fruits. The results indicate the need for further research.