Leaf Unfolding Rate in Begonia × hiemulis

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  • 1 School of Agriculture and Land Resources Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-0080

The rate of leaf unfolding as a function of temperature was determined for Begonia × hiemalis Fotsch under long-day (16 hours of light) conditions before flower initiation. Irradiance was maintained at 280 ± 20 μmol·m–2·s–1 (16.1 mol·m–2·day–l). The two cultivars Hilda and Ballet had similar rates of leaf unfolding in the range from 13 to 28C. The rate increased to a maximum of 0.116 leaves/day at 21C and then decreased at higher temperature. The following quadratic function (where T is the temperature in °C) was selected to describe initial long-day leaf unfolding rate in B. × hiemalis: leaves/day = -0.2083 + 0.03145 × T – 0.0007631 × T2, (r2 = 0.97). The leaf unfolding response to temperature varied for plants of `Hilda' and `Ballet' during short days (10 hours of light) following the initial long-day period. Plants of `Ballet' continued to unfold leaves at a similar rate as under initial long photoperiods, while the leaf unfolding rate for `Hilda' decreased to half the rate observed under long days.

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