Petroleum Spray Oil Effects on Net Gas Exchange of Grapefruit Leaves at Various Vapor Pressures

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  • 1 Citrus Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

The effects of three highly refined petroleum spray oils and of ambient vapor pressure on net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance of water vapor (gs) of single grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) leaves were investigated. Overall, gs of various-aged leaves was decreased by a large leaf-to-air vapor pressure difference (VPD). In the first experiment, oils with midpoint distillation temperatures (50% DT) of 224, 235, and 247C were applied with a hand atomizer at concentrations of 0, 1%, and 4% oil emulsions in water and 100% oil, all with 0.82% surfactant (by volume). There was a tendency for oils of the two higher DT to decrease net gas exchange during a subsequent 12 days, but significant differences could not be attributed to oil DT. Both A and gs were reduced by the two higher concentrations of oil mixtures. In the second experiment, a commercial airblast sprayer was used to apply the 224C oil at 4% or the 235C oil at 2% and 4% mixtures plus surfactant under field conditions. There were no significant effects of oil treatments on net gas exchange of leaves either measured under moderate VPD outdoors 1 day after spraying or under low VPD in the laboratory 2 days after spraying. No visible phytotoxic symptoms were observed in either experiment.

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