EFFECT OF WIND SPEED ON CARBON ASSIMILATION, WATER RELATIONS, AND GROWTH OF YOUNG CARAMBOLA AND SUGAR APPLE TREES

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  • 1 University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, 18905 S.W. 280 St., Homestead, FL 33031

The effect of wind stress on growth, net CO2 assimilation (A), and leaf water potential of eighteen-month-old, containerized carambola (Averrhoa carambola cv. Arkin) and seedling sugar apple (Annona squamosa) trees was investigated. In a glasshouse, trees were exposed to fan-generated wind speeds of 0 (control), 4 (low wind; LW), or 7 (high wind; HW) m sec-1 for 4 hr/day (1000-1400 hr) for 30 days. No differences in A, stomatal conductance, transpiration, and fresh and dry wt of mature carambola or sugar apple leaves or shoots were observed among treatments. In contrast, as wind speed increased, fresh wt of immature carambola leaves and shoots decreased. For carambola and sugar apple, no significant relationship was found between mid-day leaf water potentials and wind speed. However, after 30 days, leaf water potential of carambola subjected to HW (-1.2 MPa) was lower than those of LW (-1.1 MPa) and control (-1.1 MPa) trees. For sugar apple, leaf water potential of control trees was generally higher than those of trees in the LW and HW treatments. The data indicate that exposure to wind speeds of 4 or 7 m sec-1 for as little as 4 hr/day for 30 days reduces new leaf and shoot growth of carambola trees.

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