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  • Author or Editor: Dewayne L. Ingram x
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Abstract

Root systems of ‘Grande Name’ banana (Musa spp. L., AAA Group), Ixora coccinea L., Dracaena marginata L., and ‘Carrizo’ citrange [Citrus sinensis L. (Osbeck) × Poncirus trifoliata L.(Raf.)] were exposed to temperatures of 28°, 34°, and 40°C for 6 hr daily for 90 days. Root zone temperature did not affect dry weight of shoots or roots of ixora or citrus, but the 40° treatment increased the shoot to root ratio, S:R. Banana shoot dry weight decreased linearly with increasing root zone temperature, but root dry weight was not affected. The 40° root temperature regime reduced root dry weight in dracaena but not shoot dry weight. Absolute concentrations of sugars and starch in shoots and roots of the 4 test plants did not differ with root temperature, but the ratio of sugars to starch in roots was reduced in ixora and increased in banana by the 40° treatment.

Open Access

The understanding, calculation, and comparison of water footprint (WF) among specialty crop growers are confounded by geography, species, and process. This study builds on published models of representative plant production systems developed using life cycle assessment. These models include container production using recycled water in the mid-Atlantic, southeastern, and Pacific northwestern regions of the United States and greenhouse production implementing rainfall capture and overhead and ebb/flood irrigation strategies. Production systems using recycled water compare favorably in consumptive water use (CWU) with those that do not, regardless of the water source. Production systems in geographic locations with high water availability compare favorably with production systems in locations with high water scarcity in WF, but not necessarily CWU.

Open Access

Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to analyze the global warming potential (GWP) and variable costs of production system components for an 11.4-cm container of wax begonia (Begonia ×semperflorens-cultorum Hort) modeled in a gutter-connected, Dutch-style greenhouse with natural ventilation in the northeastern United States. A life cycle inventory of the model system was developed based on grower interviews and published best management practices. In this model, the GWP of input products, equipment use, and environmental controls for an individual plant would be 0.140 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (kg CO2e) and the variable costs would total $0.666. Fifty-seven percent of the GWP and 43% of the variable costs would be due to the container and the portion of a 12-plant shuttle tray assigned to a plant. Electricity for irrigation and general overhead would be only 13% of GWP and 2% of variable costs. Natural gas use for heating would be 0.01% of GWP and less of the variable costs, even at a northeastern U.S. location. This was because of the rapid crop turnover and only heated for 3 months of a 50-week production year. Life cycle GWP contributions through carbon sequestration of flowering annuals after being transplanted in the landscape would be minor compared with woody plants; however, others have documented numerous benefits that enhance the human environment.

Free access

Trees were grown for 2 years as a function of three container volumes (10, 27, and 57 liter) the first year and six shifting treatments (10 liter both years, 10 to 27 liter, 10 to 57 liter, 27 liter both years, 27 to 57 liter, or 57 liter both years) the second year when containers were spaced 120 cm on center, Height and caliper were greatest for magnolias grown in 27- or 57-liter containers both years. Caliper was greater for trees shifted from 10-liter containers to the larger container volumes compared to trees grown in 10-liter containers both years, Trees grown in 10-liter containers both years tended to have few roots growing in the outer 4 cm at the eastern, southern, and western exposures in the grow medium, During the second year, high air and growth medium temperatures may have been primary limiting factors to carbon assimilation during June and August. Using large container volumes to increase carbon assimilation and tree growth may be even more important when daily maximum air temperatures are lower during late spring or early fall compared to midsummer.

Free access

Trees were grown for 2 years as a function of three container volumes (10, 27, and 57 liter) the first year and six shifting treatments (10 liter both years, 10 to 27 liter, 10 to 57 liter, 27 liter both years, 27 to 57 liter, or 57 liter both years) the second year when containers were spaced 120 cm on center, Height and caliper were greatest for magnolias grown in 27- or 57-liter containers both years. Caliper was greater for trees shifted from 10-liter containers to the larger container volumes compared to trees grown in 10-liter containers both years, Trees grown in 10-liter containers both years tended to have few roots growing in the outer 4 cm at the eastern, southern, and western exposures in the grow medium, During the second year, high air and growth medium temperatures may have been primary limiting factors to carbon assimilation during June and August. Using large container volumes to increase carbon assimilation and tree growth may be even more important when daily maximum air temperatures are lower during late spring or early fall compared to midsummer.

Free access

Growth of Magnolia grandiflora Hort. `St. Mary' (southern magnolia) trees in containers spaced 120 cm on center was studied for 2 years. During the 1st year, trees were grown in container volumes of 10, 27, or 57 liter. At the start of the second growing season, trees were transplanted according to six container shifting treatments [10-liter containers (LC) both years, 10 to 27LC, 10 to 57LC, 27LC both years, 27 to 57LC, or 57LC both years]. The mean maximum temperature at the center location was 4.8 and 6.3C lower for the 57LC than for the 27 and 10LC, respectively. Height and caliper, measured at the end of 2 years, were” greatest for magnolias grown continuously in 27 or 57LC. Caliper was greater for trees shifted from 10LC to the larger containers compared with trees grown in 10LC both years. Trees grown in 10LC both years tended to have fewer roots growing in tbe outer 4 cm of the growing medium at the eastern, southern, and western exposures. During June and August of the 2nd year, high air and growth medium temperatures may have been limiting factors to carbon assimilation. Maintenance of adequate carbon assimilation fluxes and tree growth, when container walls are exposed to solar radiation, may require increasing the container volume. This procedure may be more important when daily maximum air temperatures are lower during late spring or early fall than in midsummer, because low solar angles insolate part of the container surface.

Free access

The components for two production systems for young foliage plants in 72-count propagation trays were analyzed using life cycle assessment (LCA) procedures. The systems differed by greenhouse type, bench size and arrangement, rainwater capture, and irrigation/fertilization methods. System A was modeled as a gutter-connected, rounded-arch greenhouse without a ridge vent and covered with double-layer polyethylene, and the plants were fertigated through sprinklers on stationary benches. System B was modeled as a more modern gutter-connected, Dutch-style greenhouse using natural ventilation, and moveable, ebb-flood production tables. Inventories of input products, equipment use, and labor were generated from the protocols for those scenarios and a LCA was conducted to determine impacts on the respective greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and the subsequent carbon footprint (CF) of foliage plants at the farm gate. CF is expressed in global warming potential for a 100-year period (GWP) in units of kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (kg CO2e). The GWP of the 72-count trays were calculated as 4.225 and 2.276 kg CO2e with variable costs of $25.251 and $24.857 for trays of foliage plants grown using Systems A and B, respectively. The GWP of most inputs and processes were similar between the two systems. Generally, the more modern greenhouse in System B was more efficient in terms of space use for production, heating and cooling, fertilization, and water use. While overhead costs were not measured, these differences in efficiency would also help to offset any increases in overhead costs per square foot associated with higher-cost, more modern greenhouse facilities. Thus, growers should consider the gains in efficiency and their influences on CF, variable costs (and overhead costs) when making future decisions regarding investment in greenhouse structures.

Free access

Three scenarios for production of Buxus microphylla var. japonica [(Mull. Arg.) Rehder & E.H. Wilson] ‘Green Beauty’ marketed in a no. 3 container on the west coast of the United States were modeled based on grower interviews and best management practices. Life cycle inventories (LCIs) of input products, equipment use, and labor were developed from the protocols for those scenarios and a life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted to determine impact of individual components on the greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and the subsequent carbon footprint (CF) of the product at the nursery gate and in the landscape. CF is expressed in global warming potential (GWP) for a 100-year period in units of kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (kg CO2e). The GWP of the plant from Scenario A (propagation to no. 1 to 3 container) was 2.198 kg CO2e with variable costs of $4.043. Scenario B (propagation to field to no. 3 container) would result in a GWP of 1.717 kg CO2e with variable costs of $2.880 and take a year longer in production than the other two models. The GWP of Scenario C (propagation to no. 1 to no. 2 to no. 3 containers) would be 3.364 kg CO2e with variable costs of $5.733. Containers, transplants/transplanting, irrigation, and fertilization input products and associated activities accounted for the greatest portion of GHG and variable costs in each scenario. Pruning, assembling/load trucks, pesticides, and chlorination were other important components to variable costs of each scenario but had little impact on GWP. Otherwise, the major contributors to GWP are also major contributors to cost.

Free access

A model production system for a 15.2-cm poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) in the north Atlantic region of the United States was developed through grower interviews and best management practices and analyzed using a life cycle assessment (LCA). The model system involved direct sticking of unrooted cuttings. The propagation phase was 4 weeks, followed by 9 weeks of irrigation using a boom system and 4 weeks of flood-floor irrigation. The carbon footprint, or global warming potential (GWP), for the plant was calculated as 0.474 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2e), with a variable cost of $1.030. Major contributors to the GWP were the substrate and filling pots, fertilization, the container, irrigation, and overhead electricity. The major contributors to variable costs were the unrooted cuttings and labor to prepare and stick ($0.471). Furthermore, the substrate and filling containers and irrigation were notable contributors. Material inputs accounted for 0.304 kg CO2e, whereas equipment use was estimated to be 0.163 kg CO2e, which comprised 64.2% and 35.8% of total GWP, respectively. Material inputs accounted for $0.665 (64.6%) of variable costs, whereas labor accounted for 19.6% of variable costs for this model. Water use per plant was 77.2 L with boom irrigation for the 9 weeks during production spacing (32.8 plant/m2) and represented 64% of the total water use. LCA was an effective tool for analyzing the components of a model system of greenhouse-grown, flowering, potted plants. Information gained from this study can be used by growers considering system alterations to improve efficiency.

Free access

Life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to analyze the production system components of a 20-cm Chrysanthemum grown for the fall market in the north Atlanta region of the United States. The model system consisted of 2 weeks of mist in a greenhouse followed by 9 weeks on an outdoor gravel bed equipped with drip irrigation. The carbon footprint, or global warming potential (GWP), was calculated as 0.555 kg CO2e and the variable costs incurred during the modeled production system (from rooting purchased cuttings to loading the truck for shipment) totaled $0.846. Use of plastics was important in terms of GWP and variable costs with the container contributing 26.7% of the GWP of the product and 12.2% of the variable costs. The substrate accounted for 44.8% of the GWP in this model but only 12.1% of the variable costs. Consumptive water use during misting was determined to be 3.9 L per plant whereas water use during outdoor production was 34.8 L. Because propagation is handled in various ways by Chrysanthemum growers, the potential impact of alternative propagation scenarios on GWP and variable costs, including the purchase of plugs, was also examined.

Free access