Rose plants (cv. Kardinal, grafted on Natal Brier) were grown in UC mix (42% fir bark, 33% peat, and 25% sand) and in coir. Water tension in the media was maintained within a predetermined narrow range using electronic tensiometers. Whole plant net photosynthesis as a function of the water tension in the medium was determined and the results were later normalized to measured leaf area. Simultaneous measurements of metabolic heat and respiration rate were carried out on detached young (FW = 10-20 mg.) leaflet samples, using differential scanning calorimeter (model 4100, Calorimetry Sciences, Provo, Utah). Only a small amount of plant material is removed for analyses so the assay is essentially non-destructive for the whole plant. Physical characteristics of the media greatly affect the relationship between water tension and water availability to plants. At similar tension values, water availability is much lower in coir than in UC mix. The effects of water availability on net photosynthesis, metabolic heat rate, and respiration will be discussed in relation to their effect on productivity.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Permanent address: Newe Ya'ar Research Center, ARO, Israel