Carambola Growth and Leaf Gas-exchange Responses to Seismic or Wind Stress

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  • 1 Fairchild Tropical Garden, 11935 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL 33156

Growth and leaf gas-exchange responses of carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) seedlings to wind or seismic stress were studied under glasshouse conditions. Forty days of twice daily seismic stress applied for 10 seconds consistently reduced carambola height, leaf area, dry weight, relative growth rate, and leaf-area ratio, but increased trunk cross-sectional area compared with plants receiving no seismic stress. Fifty-one days of wind load reduced plant height, leaf area, dry weight, trunk cross-sectional area, net assimilation rate, relative growth rate, leaf-area ratio, and stomatal conductance compared with plants receiving no wind stress. Morphological appearance was similar for plants receiving wind or seismic stress. Net CO2 assimilation of carambola leaflets was reduced by 30 minutes of wind load for up to 6 hours following the stress. Results suggest that wind may reduce carambola growth at least partially by influencing leaf gas exchange or by the mechanical stress associated with wind.

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