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  • Author or Editor: Bruce Schaffer x
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Abstract

All but 10 current-year leaves were removed from girdled branches of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) trees having one remaining fruit or all fruit removed. Removing all fruit resulted in increased leaf dry weight per area (Wa), a 250% increase in the number of starch grains in leaves, and a reduction in leaf conductance (gl) and net CO2 assimilation (A). Internal CO2 concentration (Ci) was lower for leaves of branches with fruit than for leaves of branches without fruit. The results suggest that the accumulation of starch in defruited, girdled branches results in an inhibition of A. The data suggest that the increased gl associated with the presence of avocado fruit is possibly a result of increased A and reduced Ci levels.

Open Access

Two-year-old `Arkin' carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees were grown in containers in a greenhouse and the field in a very gravelly loam soil. Trees in the field were subjected to four soil water depletion (SWD) levels which averaged, 10.5%, 26.5%, 41.0%, and 55.5% and trees in the greenhouse were maintained at field capacity or dried continuously to produce a range of SWD levels. The relationships between SWD and leaf (ΨL) and stem (Ψs) water potential, net CO2 assimilation (ACO2), stomatal conductance of water (gs) and transpiration (E) were determined. Coefficients of determination values between physiological variables were higher for trees in the greenhouse than in the field, which may have been due to greater fluctuations in vapor pressure deficit (VPD) in the field. Soil water depletion levels above 50% caused a reduction in Ψs that subsequently decreased gs. This reduction in Ψs was correlated with a linear reduction in E and a considerable decline in ACO2 when gs fell below about 50 mmol·m–2 ·s–1. Leaf gas exchange parameters were better correlated with Ψs than with SWD level. Therefore, Ψs may be a better predictor of carambola tree water status than SWD in a well-drained, very gravelly loam soil.

Free access

The effects of atmospheric CO2 enrichment and root restriction on net CO2 assimilation (A), dry mass partitioning, and leaf mineral element concentrations in `Kensington' and `Tommy Atkins' mango (Mangifera indica L.) were investigated. Trees were grown in controlled-environment glasshouse rooms at ambient CO2 concentrations of 350 or 700 μmol·mol-1. At each CO2 concentration, trees were grown in 8-L containers, which restricted root growth, or grown aeroponically in 200-L root mist chambers, which did not restrict root growth. Trees grown in 350 μmol·mol-1 CO2 were more efficient at assimilating CO2 than trees grown in 700 μmol·mol-1 CO2. However, total plant and organ dry mass was generally higher for plants grown at 700 μmol·mol-1 CO2 due to increased A as a result of a greater internal partial pressure of CO2 (Ci) in leaves of plants in the CO2 enriched environment. Root restriction reduced A resulting in decreased organ and plant dry mass. In root-restricted plants, reduced A and dry matter accumulation offset the increases in these variables resulting from atmospheric CO2 enrichment. Atmospheric CO2 enrichment and root restriction did not affect dry mass partitioning. Leaf mineral element concentrations were generally lower for trees grown at the higher ambient CO2 concentration, presumably due to a dilution effect from an increased growth rate.

Free access

Leaf gas exchange of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) and mango (Mangifera indica L.) trees in containers and in an orchard (field-grown trees) was measured over a range of photosynthetic photon fluxes (PPF) and ambient CO2 concentrations (Ca ). Net CO2 assimilation (A) and intercellular partial pressure of CO2 (Ci) were determined for all trees in early autumn (noncold-stressed leaves) when minimum daily temperatures were ≥14 °C, and for field-grown trees in winter (cold-stressed leaves) when minimum daily temperatures were ≤10 °C. Cold-stressed trees of both species had lower maximum CO2 assimilation rates (Amax ), light saturation points (QA ), CO2 saturation points (CaSAT ) and quantum yields than leaves of noncold-stressed, field-grown trees. The ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm ) was ≈50% lower for leaves of cold-stressed, field-grown trees than for leaves of nonstressed, field-grown trees, indicating chill-induced photoinhibition of leaves had occurred in winter. The data indicate that chill-induced photoinhibition of A and/or sink limitations caused by root restriction in container-grown trees can limit carbon assimilation in avocado and mango trees.

Free access

Phenological cycles were determined for carambola (Averrhoa carambola) trees in a gravelly loam soil at four different soil water depletion (SWD) levels in containers and in an orchard in southern Florida. The phenological cycles of young trees grown in containers were not as well defined as those of mature trees in an orchard. Shoot extension of trees in the orchard and containers was observed from the first week of March until the third week of December. Two peak flowering periods occurred during the first week of March, and from mid-September to mid-October. The major fruit harvest periods were August and December. Shoot flushing, extension shoot growth, flowering, and fruiting showed little response to irrigation at four SWD levels. This lack of response was likely caused by sufficient soil water due to precipitation and capillary rise from the high water table located about 1–2 m below the soil surface. Regardless of the lack of SWD effects on phenological cycles of carambola, the periodicity of shoot flushing, extension shoot growth, flowering, and fruiting and the intensity of these phenological events elucidated in this study should provide useful guidelines for carambola orchard management in southern Florida.

Full access

Cocoyam was grown in 100%, 50%, or 30% daylight to determine the effect of light intensity on growth characteristics at various stages of plant development. Beginning ≈ 2 months after planting, growth was monitored at three or four monthly intervals. Plants grown in shade had more petiole and leaf lamina growth and extension, as well as increased top: corm plus cormel ratio (dry-weight basis), than plants grown in 100% daylight. Shade-grown plants had a higher leaf area index and specific leaf area than sun-grown plants. Sun-grown plants had a higher net assimilation rate and specific leaf density than shade-grown plants. Linear equations were developed to predict lamina area through measurements of leaf lamina width and length, petiole length, and lamina dry weight.

Free access

Growth and leaf physiology responses of container-grown `Arkin' carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) trees to long-term exposure of ≈25%, ≈50%, or 100% sunlight were studied in four experiments in Guam and Florida. Shading increased rachis length and leaflet area, and decreased leaflet thickness. Shaded trees also had a more horizontal branch orientation. Shading reduced dark respiration (Rd) and light compensation and saturation points but increased chlorophyll concentration and N-use efficiency. Light-saturated net CO2 assimilation (A) was not affected by developmental light level. Trees in full sun had smaller total leaf area, canopy diameter, and shoot: root ratio and exhibited leaflet movement to avoid direct solar radiation. Also, trees grown in 100% sunlight had a more vertical branch orientation and greater stomatal density than shaded trees. The ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence (Fv/Fm) declined during midday in 100% sunlight trees. This pattern was accompanied by a midday suppression of A in 100% sunlight-grown trees in Guam. `Arkin' carambola trees exposed to ≈25%, ≈50%, or 100% sunlight for up to 39 weeks exhibited physiological and morphological adaptations that resulted in similar growth. These results indicate that carambola efficiently adapts to different developmental light intensities.

Free access

The effect of flooding on container-grown `Tommy Atkins' mango (Mangifera indica L.) trees on two rootstock, and on container-grown seedling `Peach' mango trees, was investigated by evaluating vegetative growth, net gas exchange, and leaf water potential. In general, flooding simultaneously reduced net CO2 assimilation (A) and stomatal conductance (gs) after 2 to 3 days. However, flooding did not affect leaf water potential, shoot extension growth, or shoot dry weight, but stem radial growth and root dry weight were reduced, resulting in larger shoot: root ratios for flooded trees. Mortality of flooded trees ranged from 0% to 45% and was not related to-rootstock scion combination. Hypertrophied lenticels were observed on trees that survived flooding but not on trees that died. The reductions in gas exchange, vegetative growth, and the variable tree mortality indicate that mango is not highly flood-tolerant but appears to possess certain adaptations to flooded soil conditions.

Free access

The effects of shade during leaf development on photosynthetic activity of cocoyam [Xanthosoma sagittifolium (L.) Schott] were investigated. Net gas exchange and N and chlorophyll concentrations were determined for cocoyam leaves growing in 30%, 50%, or 100% sunlight. Net CO2 assimilation (A) and water use efficiency (WUE) were greater for plants grown in 100% sunlight than for plants grown in less sunlight. Substomatal CO2 concentration increased with increased shading. Stomatal conductance (gs) and transpiration (E) did not vary significantly among treatments. Diurnal paterns for A were positively correlated with gs, lamina temperature, relative humidity, and photosynthetic photon flux (PPF). Lamina N concentrations, determined on lamina dry weight and lamina area bases, increased with increased PPF. Shade plants (30% and 50% sunlight) had greater chlorophyll: N ratios (dry-weight basis) and greater lamina area: lamina dry weight ratios than 100% sunlight-grown plants, which indicates increased photosynthate and N allocation to leaves of shade plants and maximization of light interception.

Free access

Abstract

Studies were conducted during five winter cropping periods in the Everglades, near Belle Glade, Fla., to determine effects of shade applied at various times throughout the growing period on the growth and yield of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Ancillary studies also were conducted in a greenhouse to determine effects of shade on the light response of lettuce with respect to net CO2 assimilation. The maximum net CO2 assimilation rate (Pn) for lettuce decreased as the irradiance at which the plants were grown decreased. Continuous shading from thinning to harvest reduced crop growth approximately in direct proportion to the reduction in irradiance. Lettuce was most sensitive to reductions in radiation when growth and development were most rapid. These data suggest that lettuce growth from planting through the eight-leaf stage is not affected by small reductions in radiation that might occur in nature, but appears to be largely influenced by temperature. This observation is consistent with data collected during greenhouse experiments that showed that Pn at this early growth stage was low regardless of the shade treatment. Lettuce growth from the eight-leaf through the preheading stage was reduced by low shade levels (75% of prevailing solar radiation). Lettuce yield, however, generally was not affected by low shade levels through the preheading stage. Shading, regardless of the degree, reduced growth and yield during the heading stage of development. Results from greenhouse experiments indicated that the light saturation point of lettuce for photosynthesis during this latter growth stage could reach 800 μmol·s−1·m−2. This light level is higher than prevailing light that often exists during fall and winter growing seasons in southern Florida.

Open Access