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Francis X. Mangan, John Howell, and Stephen Herbert

Hot cherry peppers were grown after incorporation of the following three winter cover crop regimes in Summer 1994—hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) plus winter rye (Secale cereale), hairy vetch alone, and no cover crop. For each main effect there were three N rates applied to peppers in three applications over the course of the season: 0, 85, and 170 kg·ha–1. The pepper yield was significantly higher with hairy vetch plus rye than rye alone or no cover crop. There was also no significant yield increase with the addition of N fertilizer to the peppers grown with hairy vetch. Soil nitrate–N levels taken just prior to N sidedress were significantly higher in plots that had hairy vetch plus rye compared to other treatments. There was also a significant linear relationship of the soil nitrate–N levels among the three N rates. Based on the results of this study, sidedressing peppers would be recommended when soil nitrate levels are above the 25 ppm that is the current threshold for other crops. SPAD readings were taken several times during the season. There was a high correlation of SPAD readings to pepper yield very early and very late in the season. The correlation of SPAD readings to pepper yield was poorest when taken at the time of N sidedress.

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Giampaolo Zanin and Paolo Sambo

Rosa chinensis Jacq. var. mutabilis plants were grown in a greenhouse to determine whether a hand-held chlorophyll meter (SPAD-meter) is suitable for the plant N status assessment. Therefore, plants were fertilized with increasing levels of N, applied through urea form as top dressing. The doses were: 0, 0.15, 0.3, 0.45, 0.6, and 0.75 g of N per liter of substrate. Periodically during the growing season, plant height and width, fresh and dry weight of different plant organs at 10, 20, and 30 weeks after planting, and their total N, plant P, and K were measured. Furthermore, six times along the growing cycle, the amount of chlorophyll in leaves was estimated using a SPAD-meter and analytically measured by chlorophyll extraction with ethanol and reading through a spectrophotometer. In the same leaves, N concentration was also determined. Treatments with 0.45–0.6 g of N per liter of substrate gave the tallest and widest plant. Plant weight and flower production were also the highest with these doses. The concentration of organic N in plant organs increased along with the N availability in the substrate, which suggests that a “luxury consumption” took place. The SPAD values showed high correlation among chlorophyll and N concentrations. Values that ranged between 35–40 seemed to mean good nutrient status. A high correlation was also found among SPAD values and some of the productive characteristics, which indicates that a SPAD-meter is a suitable tool in the dynamic fertilization of rose.

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Carol A. Miles

Improving sweet corn fertilizer-N efficiency promotes a more vigorous and healthy crop, rewards the grower with greater profits, and protects our water resources from nitrate-N pollution. Two areas of research that have the potential to improve the efficiency of fertilizer-N applications are the Minolta SPAD 502 chlorophyll meter and the presidedress soil N test. The SP meter is a rapid and nondestructive technique for assessing sweet corn leaf levels, and SP readings have been correlated to leaf N concentration. A presidedress soil N test measures the amount of soil N that will be available to the plant during the remainder of the growing season. SP meter readings combined with presidedress soil N analyses may be used to determine crop N needs and fertilizer-N sidedress application rates. Basing fertilizer-N sidedress application rates on actual crop N needs will reduce excess fertilizer-N applications and the resulting leaching of nitrates.

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John L. Jifon, James P. Syvertsen, and Eric Whaley

Technologies Inc. for loan of the Observer prototype and the Minolta SPAD-502 meters and to Dan Harkins of Opti-Sciences, Inc. for the loan of the CCM-200 prototype meter. The assistance of Jill Dunlop (CREC) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Sudahono, D.H. Byrne, and R.E. Rouse

Eighteen citrus rootstock seedling lines were tested for their tolerance to Fe chlorosis using sand culture. Potassium carbonate was used to induce Fe-deficiency chlorosis. Chlorosis was quantified by 1) visual ratings, 2) SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter readings, 3) leaf chlorophyll concentration, 4) leaf active Fe, and 5) leaf total Fe. The first four criteria were well correlated among each other but not with leaf total Fe. Although any of the first four measurements could be used to quantify chlorosis, visual ratings and SPAD-502 readings were more convenient. The rootstock that have been reported to be tolerant or very susceptible to Fe chlorosis in calcareous soils were rated similarly for tolerance to bicarbonate-induced Fe chlorosis. Nontrifoliate types such as Texas sour orange (C. aurantium L.), Cleopatra mandarin (C. reticulata Blanco), Vangasay lemon (C. limon Burro.), and Ridge pineapple x Milam 1578-201 (C. sinensis L. Osbeck x C. jambhiri) were tolerant to moderately tolerant. Although most of the trifoliate hybrids tested were moderately susceptible to very susceptible, Smooth Seville x Argentine trifoliate {[C. grands (L.) Osbeck x C. aurantium] x Poncirus trifoliata (L.) Raf.} and F-81-12 citrange (C. sinensis x P. trifoliata) exhibited relatively high tolerance to lime-induced Fe chlorosis.

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Richard T. Olsen, John M. Ruter, and Mark W. Rieger

Illiciums, or star-anises, have increased in popularity in the nursery and landscape industries. However, confusion exists as to which taxa are tolerant of high light intensities during production and subsequent establishment in the landscape. We investigated the effect of two light intensity treatments, 45% and 100% full sunlight, on gas-exchange parameters of five Illicium taxa: Illicium anisatum L., I. floridanum Ellis. `Pebblebrook', I. henryi Diels., I. lanceolatum A.C. Sm., and I. parviflorum Michx. Ex. Vent. `Forest Green'. Light-response curves were determined for individual leaves, and mean response parameters calculated. Chlorophyll and total carotenoids were analyzed after extraction in acetone, with total chlorophyll also estimated with a SPAD chlorophyll meter. In general, highest rates of CO2 assimilation (Amax) and lowest rates of dark respiration (Rd) were found in the 45% light treatment for all taxa. Both Illicium anisatum and I. floridanum `Pebblebrook' had substantial reductions in Amax in 100% light, 94% and 81% respectively, compared to plants grown in the 45% light treatment. Illicium henryi failed to survive the 100% light treatment. Illicium lanceolatum and I. parviflorum `Forest Green' were least affected by the 100% light treatment. Severe photooxidative bleaching was noted and confirmed by SPAD and pigment data, although SPAD readings were a poor predictor of total chlorophyll. For taxa of Illicium in our study, photosynthetic gas-exchange parameters and foliage pigment characteristics were improved in the low light treatment, suggesting optimal growth occurs in shaded conditions.

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Ka Yeon Jeong, Claudio Pasian, and David Tay

There is limited information on optimal substrate EC level for begonia species (noncultivated hybrids). The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of six species to different substrate EC in a greenhouse. Begonia albopicta, B. cucullata var. cucullata, B. echinosepala var. elongatifolia, B. holtonis, B. fuchsioides (red) and B. fuchsioides (pink) plants were propagated by stem cuttings, and transplanted into plastic pots using a soilless mix. Five concentrations (20, 80, 200, 400, and 600 mg·L-1 N) of 17–5–17 fertilizer were applied as irrigation water to derive the five substrate EC levels. This experiment was a factorial randomized complete-block design. Substrate EC was measured weekly using the PourThru method and averaged for each treatment of each species. Inflorescence number, the longest stem length, SPAD readings, leaf area, and dry weight of each plant were measured as growth parameters. There were significant responses to substrate EC level and species on begonia growth parameters. The highest growth parameters of B. albopicta and B. cucullata were obtained at EC 5.7 and 6.6 mS·cm-1, respectively. The maximum growth of B. echinosepala and B. holtonis was observed at 2.6 and 3.0 mS·cm-1, respectively. B. fuchsioides, grown at 1.2 mS·cm-1, had the best growth parameter values. As EC level increased, SPAD value for B. fuchsioides (pink) and B. holtonis also increased. The highest SPAD reading was observed at EC 3.7 mS·cm-1 for B. albopicta, EC 6.6 mS·cm-1 for B. cucullata, EC 2.6 mS·cm-1 for B. echinosepala, and EC 4.1 mS·cm-1 for B. fuchsioides (red). Plant mortality of several begonia species was observed when grown at EC value above 6.4 or below 4.4 mS·cm-1.

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L. Ferguson, J.A. Poss, S.R. Grattan, C.M. Grieve, D. Wang, C. Wilson, T.J. Donovan, and C.-T. Chao

The authors thank Donald A. Layfield for ion analyses and Phyllis Nash for statistical analyses. Jenny Espiritu and Arnold Saladino provided technical assistance with leaf porometry, SPAD readings, and sample processing. Mention of a trademark

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Yan Shi and D. H. Byrne

A standardized screening procedure for tolerance to bicarbonate-induced Fe chlorosis using a commercial fertilizer mix (Plantex) as the nutrient source, high solution pH (8.5) and 1.5 m m bicarbonate to simulate a calcareous soil situation was used with a 1 vermiculite:1 perlite (v/v) support media, small pots and topping (pinching back the tops of shoots). The tolerance level of peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] rootstock could be assessed by leaf visual-chlorosis ratings and Spad-502 chlorophyll readings instead of extractable leaf-chlorophyll concentration or plant Fe concentration. Although most of the tolerant genotypes had almond [P. amygdalus (Mill.) D.A. Webb] in their parentage, a few peaches (`Swat', NJ672281007) showed high to moderate levels of tolerance.

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Pinghai Ding*, Jessica M. Cortell, and Leslie H. Fuchigami

Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrition factors affecting grapevine growth performance and berry quality. Leaf pigments contents and leaf areas are the important indicators of grapevine nitrogen status and plant performance. In order to find a efficient way to nondestructively measure leaf nitrogen and pigments status, the SPAD meter, CCM-200 and CM-1000 chlorophyll meter in comparisons with FOSS NIR system were used in measuring leaf nitrogen, leaf chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids and anthocyanins in 7-year-old Pinot Noir grape with different rate of N treatments. The results indicate that the reading of all these meters have a good relationship with leaf N, leaf chlorophyll and leaf area. But the accuracy among these meters was different, in which the accuracy of FOSS NIR is better than that of the SPAD meter, CCM-200 and CM-1000. There is the good relationship between leaf nitrogen contents, leaf area, leaf chlorophyll and carotenoids contents. Flavonoids and anthocyanins have the inverse relationship with leaf N contents and leaf area. FOSS NIR system can be use for nondestructive assessing nitrogen, leaf chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids and anthocyanins whereas the other meters can only used for nondestructive assessing leaf nitrogen and leaf chlorophyll. These results indicate it is possible to use nondestructive spectral methods as the precision viticulture tools to manage vineyards nitrogen fertilization and grapevine performance.