(50) Evaluating Low Light Level Effects on Chlorophyll Content and Commercial Quality in Several Species of Bambuseae

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  • 1 Kasetsart University, Horticulture, Chathuchak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand

Bamboo has increasingly become a popular exterior ornamental plant because of its durability, versatility, and evergreen qualities in conditions of extreme temperature and moisture variations. Use as an interior foliage plant has been limited due to the difficulty of finding species adaptable to lower light levels. Nineteen species from seven genera (Bambusa, Cephalostachyum, Dendrocalamus, Gigantochloa, Schizostachyum, Thyrsostachys, and Vietnamosasa) were evaluated. Fifteen plants from each species were potted in like conditions (50% leaf mold; 50% topsoil; 5 g of 14–14–14 controlled-release fertilizer) and grown under a maximum daily photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) range between 1200 to 2000 μmol·m-2·s-1 for 6 weeks. Chlorophyll content of leaves was measured. The commercial quality of leaves, culms, and general appearance was also recorded. Light was then limited to a maximum PPFD of 150 to 300 μmol m-2s-1 for 6 weeks and all measurements were again recorded. Five species had significant increases in chlorophyll content after the 6-week period of reduced light levels. Species with a larger maturity size had a greater mortality percentage as well as lower quality leaf and overall appearance when grown under reduced light levels. Culm quality remained constant in 18 of the 19 species after the 6-week period. Vietnamosasa ciliata showed the greatest increase in chlorophyll levels as well as highest commercial quality of leaf and overall appearance.

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