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  • Author or Editor: R. D. Wright x
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The influence of K nutrition (25, 75, 150, 300, 450, and 600 mg K/liter) and moisture stress conditioning (MSC) (exposing plants to four sublethal dry-down cycles) on leaf water relations, evapotranspiration, growth, and nutrient content was determined for salvia (Salvia splendens F. Sellow `Bonfire'). Potassium concentration and MSC had an interactive influence on osmotic potential at full (π100) and zero (π0) turgor. Differences in osmotic potential between MSC and non-MSC plants for π100 and π0 increased with increasing K concentration. Increasing K concentration and MSC resulted in active osmotic adjustment and, consequently, increased cellular turgor potentials. Foliar K content increased with increasing K concentration and MSC. High K concentrations and MSC both reduced plant evapotranspiration on a per-plant and per-unit-leaf-area basis. Greatest shoot dry weight occurred for plants grown with 300 mg K/liter and non-MSC. Total leaf area increased with increasing K concentration, but MSC had little effect.

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We determined the influence of moisture stress conditioning (MSC) (exposing plants to four nonlethal dry-down cycles) on gas exchange and water loss of Salvia splendens F. Sellow `Bonfire'. During day 1 following final irrigation, no differences in leaf water potentials (ψL) were observed due to MSC. However, MSC plants had lower midday net photosynthesis (Pn), transpiration (E), and leaf conductance (gL) than controls. Stomatal inhibition of photosynthesis (SI) of MSC plants was greater than that of controls. Further, the lack of differences in mesophyll resistance to CO2(rm due to MSC indicate gas exchange differences during day 1 were stomatal in nature. During day 2, MSC plants exhibited greater Pn, E, and gL, while SI and rm were greater for controls. MSC plants maintained positive Pn rates and .turgor and lower ψL than control plants during day 2. Higher water-use efficiency estimates were observed for MSC plants than for controls.

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Abstract

Obtaining quality photos of plant material to demonstrate research results is sometimes difficult. Adequate sunlight is necessary for photographing plants outdoors or in the greenhouse and shading may cause unsatisfactory results (Fig. 1). An alternative to using natural light is a system of 4 or 5 photoflood lights to illuminate subject from different angles. Although effective, this method requires a sizeable investment and is not very portable.

Open Access

Abstract

Determination of carbohydrates in different organs of 3 tulip cultivars stored at 4°C showed that sucrose and starch constituted 95% of the bulb carbohydrates with reducing sugars constituting 5%. Dry storage at 4° in the dark for 7 or 14 weeks resulted in an increase in total carbohydrates in all cultivars. Starch content of ‘Edith Eddy’, ‘Bellona’ and ‘Schoon-oord’ was increased 28%, 116%, and 270% respectively following 14 weeks of 4°C storage. Changes in sucrose and reducing sugars varied with cultivar and duration of 4° treatment. On a μg/mg dry weight basis, carbohydrate concentrations were generally higher in the shoot, developing bulblets and basalplate than in the storage scales. Dry matter loss was higher in ‘Edith Eddy’ than in ‘Schoonoord’ and ‘Bellona’. The loss of dry matter during 4° storage was reflected by cumulative losses in each of the organs.

Open Access

Abstract

Multiple branched liners of ‘Helleri’ holly growing in a pine bark medium were fertilized at the beginning of active root growth at 300, 400, 500, or 600 ppm N with a 20N−8.7P−16.7K water soluble fertilizer. One week later, one half of the plants were fertilized again. The treatments were repeated during the next 2 periods of root growth which occurred about 6 weeks apart. The above soluble fertilizer was applied weekly at 300 ppm N to the control plants. Shoot growth of plants fertilized twice at 500 ppm N was comparable to growth of the control plants. Further, these plants received 44% less fertilizer and utilized 17.6% more of the total fertilizer applied. Extract nutrient and soluble salt levels were high during root growth and low during shoot growth except for the control plants, indicating the plant's need for fertilizer predominates during periods of active root growth.

Open Access

Leaf water relations and gravimetric water loss as influenced by K rate (25, 75, 150, 300, 450 and 600 ppm) and moisture stress conditioning (MSC - exposing plants to 4 sub-lethal dry down cycles) were determined for salvia (Salvia splendens `Bonfire'). K rate and MSC had a synergistic effect on leaf osmotic potentials. Osmotic potentials at both full and zero turgor decreased with increasing K rate and MSC. Differences between MSC and no-MSC plant osmotic potentials increased as K rate increased. Active osmotic adjustment with increasing K rate and MSC resulted in increased cellular turgor potentials. Both high K rates and MSC reduced plant gravimetric water loss on a unit leaf area basis.

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The objective of this study was to evaluate a pine tree substrate (PTS) for decomposition, changes in physical and chemical properties, and substrate carbon dioxide (CO2) efflux (microbial activity) during a long-term production cycle under outdoor nursery conditions. Substrates used in this study were PTS constructed using a 4.76-mm hammer mill screen and aged pine bark (PB). Plastic nursery containers were filled with each substrate and amended with either 4.2 or 8.4 kg·m−3 Osmocote Plus fertilizer and planted with Cotoneaster horizontalis or left fallow. Substrate solution chemical properties and nutrient concentrations were determined each month during the summers of 2006 and 2007 in addition to measuring substrate CO2 efflux (μmol CO2/m−2·s−1) as an assessment of microbial activity. Substrate breakdown (decomposition) was determined with particle size analysis and physical property determination on substrates at the conclusion of the study (70 weeks). Substrate solution pH was higher in PTS than in PB at both fertilizer rates in 2006, but pH levels decreased over time and were lower in PTS at both fertilizer rates in 2007. Substrate solution electrical conductivity levels, nitrate, phosphorus, and potassium concentrations were all generally higher in PB than in PTS at both fertilizer rates through both years. Pine tree substrate decomposition was higher when plants were present in the containers [evident by an increase in fine substrate particles (less than 0.5 mm) after 70 weeks], but breakdown was equal at both fertilizer rates. Shrinkage of PTS in the presence of plants was equal to the shrinkage observed in PB with plants, but shrinkage was higher in fallow PTS containers than PTS with plants. Substrate air apace (AS) was highest in PTS and container capacity (CC) was equal in PB and PTS at potting. Substrate AS decreased and CC increased in both substrates after 70 weeks but remained in acceptable ranges for container substrates. Substrate CO2 efflux rates were higher in PTS compared with PB at both fertilizer rates indicating higher microbial activity, thereby increasing the potential for nutrient immobilization and substrate breakdown. This work provides evidence that PTS decomposition is unaffected by fertilizer rate and that substrate shrinkage in containers with plants is similar to PB after two growing seasons (70 weeks), which addresses two major concerns about the use and performance of PTS for long-term nursery crop production. This work also shows that the higher microbial activity in PTS increases the potential of microbial nutrient immobilization, which is likely the reason for the lower substrate nutrient levels reported for PTS compared with PB over 70 weeks.

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Abstract

The pour-through (PT) method of nutrient extraction, which involves pouring water on the container media surface and collecting the extract (leachate), was compared to the saturated soil extract (SSE) method for a 100% pine bark medium at container capacity (102% gravimetric moisture). The SSE and PT correlation coefficients, respectively, were 0.99 and 0.94 for N, 0.99 and 0.97 for P, 0.99 and 0.93 for K, and 0.99 and 0.98 for pH. As container media moisture levels increased from 50 to 102%, the PT and SSE soluble salt levels increased 1.5 and 1.6 times, respectively, while nitrate levels increased 1.7 and 1.6 times, respectively. The volume of water applied for the PT was varied from 40 to 100 ml and did not result in extraction of different levels of N, P, K, Ca, or Mg. These data indicate the PT is an alternative to the SSE for nutrient extraction from a pine bark medium.

Open Access

Stem cuttings of Blue Rug juniper (Juniperus horizontalis Moench `Wiltonii'), `Hino-Crimson' azalea [Rhododendron (Lindl.) P1anch `Hino-Crimson'], and `Helleri' holly (Ilex crenata Thunb. `Helleri') were propagated in 1 peat: 1 perlite (v/v) at one of five moisture levels based on medium dry weight (125%, 250%, 375%, 500%, or 625%). Cutting survival and percentage of rooted cuttings were highest at the highest medium moisture level in all three species. Incidence of cutting basal rot was not directly related to medium moisture level, but more to the growth stage of the stock plant. Midday xylem water potential (ψ) of cuttings for each species was highest in the wettest propagation medium and lowest in the driest medium. During propagation, stem cutting ψ below - 2.0 MPa occurred even in the wettest medium tested, and frequently reached - 4.0 MPa in cuttings in the driest treatment (125%). Basal water uptake by cuttings was highest in the wettest medium moisture level. Water uptake was highest during the first few days after insertion, and thereafter decreased until root emergence.

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Abstract

The response of cape primrose (Streptocarpus) plants to external N application is dependent on growth media only in terms of response magnitude. A 2.0% to 2.9% tissue N level in either sand or bark media maximized shoot dry weight, the number of potential flowers, and the quantity and quality of plantlets regenerated during subsequent asexual propagation. In sand, 2.9% tissue N was below the level required for maximum leaf elongation and resulted in a desirable restriction of the primary leaf (phyllomorph). Tissue N levels that either exceeded or lagged behind the optima were often detrimental to plant aesthetics, and wasteful where luxuriant tissue levels did not affect the measured characteristics.

Open Access