697 PB 303 POINSETTIA WATER USE INFLUENCED BY ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS AND NUTRIENT SOLUTION CONCENTRATION

in HortScience

Poinsettias were grown in a closed hydroponic system with a modified Hoagland's solution concentration of either 1 or 3 mS·cm-1. Water use and whole plant fresh mass were measured gravimetrically at 2 to 3 day intervals over an eleven week period (initial break development through full bract development). At two week intervals, poinsettias were harvested and the fresh and dry mass of leaves, bracts stems, and roots were determined, and total laminar surface area was measured. Leaf temperature (LT), root-zone solution temperature (RZT), and at canopy level, air temperature (CAT), VPD, and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) were monitored at 1 mm intervals and mean values recorded each 30 mm using a 21X micrologger (Campbell Scientific, Logan Utah). Water use (ml·dm-2·day-1) averaged 15% higher for poinsettias grown in the 1 mS·cm-1 solution than in the 3 mS·cm-1 nutrient solution. Simple linear regression of daily water use with PPF, or VPD, or CAT, while significant, accounted for less than half of the daily fluctuation in water use (r2; PPF= 0.47, VPD=0.21, CAT=0.30). However, multiple regression involving daily PPF, VPD, CAT, RZT and LT accounted for up to 82% of the variation in daily water use.

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