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Hiroshi Shimizu, Erik S. Runkle, and Royal D. Heins

A model was constructed to predict shoot-tip temperature of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. ex Klotzsch) according to an energy-balance equation by using five greenhouse environmental factors: dry-bulb, wet-bulb, and sky (glazing or shade screen) temperature; transmitted shortwave radiation; and air velocity. An experiment was conducted to collect the five environmental variables that were used as model inputs, and shoot-tip temperature data were used to validate the predicted shoot-tip temperature in a commercial greenhouse. The standard deviation of the difference between predicted and measured shoot-tip temperature was 0.798 and was calculated by using 8547 data points, and >84% of the actual and predicted data points were within 1 °C. A sensitivity analysis performed with the model indicated that, among the three temperatures measured, plant shoot-tip temperature was primarily influenced by the dry-bulb temperature. For example, shoot-tip temperature increased an average of 0.74 °C for every 1 °C increase in dry-bulb temperature when dry-bulb temperature varied from 28 to 42 °C, wet-bulb temperature was 27.8 °C, sky temperature was 39.8 °C, shortwave radiation (285 to 2800 nm) was 760 W·m-2, and air velocity was 0.44 m·s-1. Under these conditions and a dry-bulb temperature of 32.6 °C, an increase in shortwave radiation of 500 W·m-2 increased the shoot-tip temperature by an average of 3.3 °C. This developed model may be a useful tool to predict shoot-tip temperature and evaluate the effect of greenhouse environmental factors on shoot-tip temperature.

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Paul R. Fisher, Royal D. Heins, and J. Heinrich Lieth

Stem elongation of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Klotz.) was quantified using an approach that explicitly modelled the three phases of a sigmoidal growth curve: 1) an initial lag phase characterized by an exponentially increasing stem length, 2) a phase in which elongation is nearly linear, and 3) a plateau phase in which elongation rate declines as stem length reaches an asymptotic maximum. For each growth phase, suitable mathematical functions were selected for smooth height and slope transitions between phases. The three growth phases were linked to developmental events, particularly flower initiation and the first observation of a visible flower bud. The model was fit to a data set of single-stemmed poinsettia grown with vegetative periods of 13, 26, or 54 days, resulting in excellent conformance (R 2 = 0.99). The model was validated against two independent data sets, and the elongation pattern was similar to that predicted by the model, particularly during the linear and plateau phases. The model was formulated to allow dynamic simulation or adaptation in a graphical control chart. Model parameters in the three-phase function have clear biological meaning. The function is particularly suited to situations in which identification of growth phases in relation to developmental and horticultural variables is an important objective. Further validation under a range of conditions is required before the model can be applied to horticultural situations.

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James E. Faust, Royal D. Heins, and Hiroshi Shimizu

Medium-surface temperature of black, gray, and white plug sheets was measured with thermocouples and an infrared camera. During the night, there were no medium-surface temperature differences between the plug flats; however, medium-surface temperature was 2 to 3 °C below air temperature. Medium-surface temperature increased as solar radiation (280 to 3000 nm) increased. About 80 W of solar radiation/m2 was incident on the plug-flat surface before medium-surface temperature equaled air temperature. Medium-surface temperature in the black, gray, and white flats was 6.3, 6.1, and 5.3 °C above air temperature, respectively, when 300 W of solar radiation/m2 (30% of the maximum solar radiation during the summer) was incident on the medium surface. Thus, incident solar radiation has a greater effect on medium surface temperature than plug-flat color.

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John E. Erwin, Royal D. Heins, and Roar Moe

Fuchsia × hybrids `Dollar Princess' plants were grown under 35 day/night temperature (DT/NT) environments ranging from 10 to 30C over 2 years. Plants were grown under short days (SD) (9-hour 15-minute photoperiod) or long days (LD) (9-hour 15-minute photoperiod plus a 4-hour night interruption) within each environment. The influence of temperature on Fuchsia stem elongation and leaf expansion was best described by the relationship or difference (DIF) between DT and NT (DT - NT) rather than actual DT and NT between 10 and 25C. Both internode length and leaf area increased linearly as DIF increased from - 15 to + 15C with DT and NT between 10 and 25C. Internode length increased 0.129 and 0.071 cm/1C increase in DIF for LD- and SD-grown plants, respectively. Individual leaf area increased 0.52 and 0.40 cm2/1C increase in DIF for LD- and SD-grown plants, respectively. DT or NT above 24C reduced stem elongation and leaf expansion, regardless of DIF. The response of stem elongation and leaf expansion to DIF was greater on a percent basis when plants were grown under SD and LD, respectively. On an absolute basis, both internode length and leaf area were greater on LD-grown plants. Branching increased as average daily temperature decreased from 25 to 12C. Photoperiod did not affect branching.

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Mei Yuan, William H. Carlson, Royal D. Heins, and Arthur C. Cameron

Most plants have a postgermination juvenile phase in which flower induction will not occur. Some species require a cold period for flower induction and will not respond to the cold treatments during the juvenile phase. We determined juvenile phases of Coreopsis grandiflora `Sunray', Gaillardia grandiflora `Goblin', Heuchera sanguinea `Bressingham', and Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm'. Plants were exposed to 5C for 0, 10, or 15 weeks when Coreopsis had 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 leaves (>1 cm); Gallardia, 4, 8, 12, or 16 leaves; Heuchera, 8, 12, 16, or 20 leaves; Rudbeckia, 5, 10, 15, or 20 leaves. Plants were grown under a 4-h night interruption lighting (LD) or under a 9-h photoperiod (SD) after cold treatments. Based on time to flower and final leaf count, the juvenility of Coreopsis, Gaillardia, Heuchera, and Rudbeckia ended when they had about 6, 10, 12, and 15 leaves, respectively. Cold treatments were necessary for flower induction of Coreopsis and Heuchera and they increased the flowering percentage of Gaillardia and Rudbeckia. Heuhera was a day-neutral plant, Rudbeckia was on obligate LD plant, and Gaillardia and Coreopsis were quantitative LD plants.

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Mark V. Yelanich, James E. Faust, Royal D. Heins, and John A Biernbaum

The measurement of evaporation and transpiration from container-grown crops is labor intensive and expensive if measurements are made by periodic weighing of the plants with electronic scales. Thin-beam load cells (LCL-816G, Omega Engineering) measured with a datalogger provides a method of making continuous mass measurements over time. Four load cells were tested to determine the feasibility for use in greenhouse studies. The sensors were calibrated to an electronic scale at a range of air temperatures. The electrical signal (μV) was a linear function of mass from 0 to 816 g. The change in mass per change in electrical signal (i.e. the slope) was the same for all four load cells (1.26 g ·μV-1), however the absolute electrical signal (the intercept) was unique for each sensor (-246 to + 101 g). The effect of temperature on sensor output was unique for each sensor in terms of both the magnitude and direction of change. A two-point calibration of mass performed at a range of temperatures is required to properly use thin-beam load cells to continuously measure evapotranspiration of container-grown crops.

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Mei Yuan, William H. Carlson, Royal D. Heins, and Arthur C. Cameron

Scheduling crops to flower on specific dates requires a knowledge of the relationship between temperature and time to flower. Our objective was to quantify the effect of temperature on time to flower and plant appearance of four herbaceous perennials. Field-grown, bare-root Coreopsis grandiflora (Hogg ex Sweet.) `Sunray', Gaillardia ×grandiflora (Van Houtte) `Goblin', and Rudbeckia fulgida (Ait.) `Goldsturm', and tissue culture—propagated Leucanthemum ×superbum (Bergman ex J. Ingram) `Snowcap' plants were exposed to 5 °C for 10 weeks and then grown in greenhouse sections set at 15, 18, 21, 24, or 27 °C under 4-hour night-interruption lighting until plants reached anthesis. Days to visible bud (VB), days to anthesis (FLW), and days from VB to FLW decreased as temperature increased. The rate of progress toward FLW increased linearly with temperature, and base temperatures and degree-days of each developmental stage were calculated. For Coreopsis, Leucanthemum, and Rudbeckia, flower size, flower-bud number, and plant height decreased as temperature increased from 15 to 26 °C.

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Erik S. Runkle, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

Six long-day species of herbaceous perennials were grown under six night-interruption (NI) photoperiod treatments to determine their relative effectiveness at inducing flowering. Photoperiods were 9-hour natural days with NI provided by incandescent lamps during the middle of the dark period for the following durations: 0.5, 1, 2, or 4 hours; 6 minutes on, 54 minutes off for 4 hours (10% or 6/54 cyclic lighting); or 6 minutes on, 24 minutes off for 4 hours (20% or 6/24 cyclic lighting). For five species, the experiment was repeated with more mature plants; for the sixth, Rudbeckia fulgida Ait. `Goldsturm', following a cold treatment of 8 weeks at 5 °C. The species generally showed a quantitative flowering response to the NI duration until a saturation duration was reached; as the length of the uninterrupted night break increased, flowering percentage, uniformity, and number and plant height increased and time to flower decreased. Minimum saturation durations of NI were 1 hour for Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise' and Hibiscus moscheutos L. `Disco Belle Mixed', 2 hours for Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam', and 4 hours for unchilled R. fulgida `Goldsturm'. Echinacea purpurea Moench `Bravado' flowered similarly across all lighting treatments. The 6/24 cyclic lighting regimen induced flowering comparable to that under a continual 4-hour NI for four of the six species and the cold-treated R. fulgida `Goldsturm'. Flowering under the 6/54 regimen was generally incomplete, nonuniform, and delayed compared to that under saturation duration treatments. Three of five species flowered earlier when more mature plants were placed under the NI treatments. Cold-treated R. fulgida `Goldsturm' flowered more rapidly than unchilled plants and the saturation duration of NI decreased to 1 hour.

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Catherine M. Whitman, Royal D. Heins, Arthur C. Cameron, and William H. Carlson

The effectiveness of cool-white fluorescent, high-pressure sodium, incandescent, and metal halide lamps for inducing flowering through daylength extensions in Campanula carpatica Jacq. `Blue Clips', Coreopsis grandiflora Hogg ex Sweet `Early Sunrise', and Coreopsis verticillata L. `Moonbeam' was compared. Lighting was delivered as a 7-hour day extension with photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) ranging from 0.05 to 2.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 following a 9-hour natural daylength. Threshold irradiance values for flowering ranged from <0.05 to 0.4 μmol·m-2·s-1, depending on species. Saturation irradiance values for Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and C. grandiflora `Early Sunrise' were between 0.2 ± 0.2 and 0.7 ± 0.5 μmol·m-2·s-1, and did not differ between lamps. An irradiance of 1.0 μmol·m-2·s-1 from any lamp was adequate for flowering in Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam'. Time to flower at irradiances above the saturation points did not differ significantly between lamp types for all species tested. Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' and Coreopsis grandiflora `Early Sunrise' plants had significantly longer stems under incandescent lamps than in any other treatment. Coreopsis verticillata `Moonbeam' plants grown under cool-white fluorescent lamps had stems ≈10% longer than those grown under high-pressure sodium or incandescent lamps.

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Beth E. Engle, Arthur C. Cameron, Royal D. Heins, and William H. Carlson

Storage of perennial plugs at subfreezing temperatures could be a valuable production tool since plants could be removed over relatively long periods for forcing. Several species of seed-propagated perennial plugs were pretreated at 0 and 5C under continuous 50 μmol·s-1m-2 PPF for 0, 2, 4, or 8 weeks. After each pretreatment period, plugs were placed into 4-mil polyethylene bags that were then sealed and placed at -2.5C for 0, 2, or 6 weeks. Plugs were then removed from the bags and placed into a 24C greenhouse for two weeks under ambient light levels and daylength, after which time they were rated for percent survival and general regrowth quality. Regrowth was not influenced by pretreatment temperature. Regrowth of Limonium dumosumtatarica, and Campanula carpatica `Blue Clips' following -2.5C storage was excellent with or without a pretreatment. Regrowth of Achillea filipendulina `Cloth of Gold,' Gaillardia grandiflora `Goblin,' and Iberis sempervirens `Snowflake' was improved on plugs given the 0 or 5C pretreatment. Hibiscus × hybrida `Disco Belle Mixed' regrowth was poor, regardless of pretreatment.