EFFECTS OF SHADE ON NET PHOTOSYNTHESIS, GROWTH AND YIELD OF STRAWBERRIES

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

A greenhouse experiment was conducted to determine the effects of shade treatments (0, 30, 47 and 63%) on photosynthetic and growth responses of `Redchief' strawberries. Net photosynthesis (Pn) measured on plants under shade decreased as % shade increased. Pn of plants grown under shade but measured under saturating light intensities decreased after 30% shade. Light saturation curves of leaves allowed to expand in full sun and then placed under shade indicated a decrease in the saturation rate and point under 63% shade. Leaves which expanded under shade had decreased saturation rates and points at all levels. Specific leaf weight and total plant dry weight decreased linearly as % shade increased.

A field study in which plants were either shaded in the fall or in the fall and spring demonstrated a decreasing trend in berry number for plots which were shaded in the fall and spring. Berry number decreased in fall-shaded plants after 30% shade. In both cases, berry weight decreased with increasing shade.

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