High-temperature Tolerance of Heritage River Birch Roots Decreased by Pot-In-Pot Production Systems

in HortScience
Author: John M. Ruter1
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793-0748

Membrane thermostability of Heritage river birch (Betula nigra L. Heritage) was measured by electrolyte leakage from excised roots of plants grown in pot-in-pot (PIP) and conventional aboveground production systems (CPS). The predicted critical midpoint temperature (Tm) for a 30-min exposure was 54.6 ± 0.2 °C for PIP and 56.2 ± 0.6 °C for CPS plants. Plants grown PIP had a steeper slope through the predicted Tm, suggesting a decreased tolerance to high root-zone temperatures in relation to plants grown aboveground. Since the root systems of Heritage river birch grown PIP are damaged at lower temperatures than plants grown aboveground, growers should prevent exposure of root systems to high temperatures during postproduction handling of plants grown PIP.

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