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The capacity to form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with rhizobia is common among species in the Papilionoideae subfamily of the Leguminosae, but nodulation and nitrogen fixation have never been documented in Cladrastis kentukea (Dum.-Cours.) Rudd (American yellowwood). The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that C. kentukea is nodulated by rhizobia. Seedlings were grown in sterile vermiculite and irrigated with a nitrogen-free nutrient solution. In one experiment, the vermiculite was inoculated with rhizobia that nodulate Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim., a closely related tree species. During a second experiment, the vermiculite was inoculated with samples of soil collected near trees of C. kentukea in a native stand in Alexander County, Illinois. There were no nodules on roots of seedlings harvested 6 weeks after inoculation in either experiment. These results represent strong additional evidence that C. kentukea does not form nitrogen-fixing symbioses with rhizobia.

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Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. associates with N2-fixing rhizobia, but variation in N2 fixation among genotypes of this species is not known. We determined the effect of N2 fixation on growth of plants from seven half-sib families known to differ in seed mass and seedling growth when provided N. Seedlings were grown in Leonard jars for 12 weeks in a greenhouse. Mass of control plants provided N and nodule mass on plants inoculated with rhizobia (USDA 4349) and not provided N differed among families. Among plants not provided N, inoculation did not increase dry matter but did reduce chlorosis. Therefore, plant N content also will be discussed as an indicator of efficiency of N2 fixation. Results indicate N2 fixation improves plant quality in low-N soils but will not eliminate the need for N applications during seedling production.

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Scotch laburnum [Laburnum alpinum (Mill.) Bercht.], Amur maackia (Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim.), and Chinese wisteria [Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet] were inoculated with compatible rhizobia and treated with leaching fractions (LF) of 0, 0.2, and 0.4 using fertilizer solutions with 3.6 and 10.7 mol N/m3 for 10 weeks. LF did not affect plant dry mass, leaf area, or stem length. Growth was higher among plants provided 10.7 mol N/m3, but only plants provided 3.6 mol N/m3 formed root nodules. We conclude that growth is not reduced by eliminating leaching during the first 10 weeks of seedling development, and that application of 10.7 mol N/m3 prevents nodulation of these species.

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The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of plant growth regulators applied as foliar sprays on height and branching of seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica). Five chemical plant growth regulators were applied: ancymidol [15, 25, and 50 mg·L–1 (ppm)] (A-Rest; Elanco Products Co., Indianapolis), dikegulac sodium (500, 1000, and 1500 mg.L–1) (Atrimmec; PBI/Gordon Corp., Kansas City, Mo.), paclobutrazol (10, 20, and 60 mg·L–1) (Bonzi; Uniroyal Chemical Co., Middlebury, Conn.), chlormequat chloride (CCC) (750, 1000, and 1500 mg·L–1) (Cycocel; Olympic Horticultural Products, Mainland, Pa.), and CCC/daminozide mixes (1000/2500, 1000/5000, and 1500/5000 mg·L–1) (Cycocel and B-Nine; Uniroyal Chemical Co.). Ten replicate plants of each concentration were evaluated weekly for plant height and number of branches for 8 weeks. Plants that received CCC and CCC/daminozide treatments at all concentrations and paclobutrazol at 60 mg·L–1 were 60%, 60%, and 48% shorter than control plants and had 113%, 100%, and 75% more branches than control plants, respectively. All concentrations of ancymidol and dikegulac sodium-treated plants were similar to control plants. Paclobutrazol was applied twice, and only the highest concentration was effective for height control. Chlormequat chloride at the lowest concentration was as effective as all other concentrations of CCC and CCC/daminozide.

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Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos var. inermis Wind.) and tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle] sometimes are exposed to high root-zone temperatures in urban microclimates. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that seedlings of these species differ in how elevated root-zone temperature affects growth, leaf water relations, and root hydraulic properties. Shoot extension, leaf area, root: shoot ratio, and root and shoot dry weights were less for tree-of-heaven grown with the root zone at 34C than for those with root zones at 24C. Tree-of-heaven with roots at 34C had a lower mean transpiration rate (E) than those grown at 24C, but leaf water potential (ψ1) was similar at both temperatures. In contrast, shoot extension of seedlings of honey locust grown with roots at 34C was greater than honey locust at 24C, E was similar at both temperatures, and ψ1 was reduced at 34C. Hydraulic properties of root systems grown at both temperatures were determined during exposure to pressure in solution held at 24 or 34C. For each species at both solution temperatures, water flux through root systems (Jv) grown at 34C was less than for roots grown at 24C. Roots of tree-of-heaven grown at 34C had lower hydraulic conductivity coefficients (Lp) than those grown at 24C, but Lp of roots of honey locust grown at the two temperatures was similar.

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Freeman maples (Ace×freemanii E. Murray) are marketed as stress-resistant alternatives to red maples (Acer rubrum L.). Our objective was to compare two cultivars of Freeman maple [`Jeffersred' (Autumn Blaze®) and `Indian Summer'] and five red maples [`Franksred' (Red Sunset®), `Autumn Flame', `PNI 0268' (October Glory®), `Fairview Flame', and unnamed selection 59904] for effects of flooding and water deficit on plant growth, biomass partitioning, stomatal conductance, and leaf osmotic potential. Plants grown from rooted cuttings in containers were subjected to three consecutive cycles during which root-zone water content decreased to 0.12, 0.08, and 0.02 m3·m–3, respectively. Additional plants were flooded for 75 days, while plants in a control treatment were irrigated frequently. Stomatal conductance immediately before imposing drought and after three drought cycles did not differ among genotypes and averaged 220 and 26 mmol·s–1·m–2, respectively. Differences in stomatal conductance after recovery from the first drought cycle and at the end of the second drought cycle did not vary with species. Drought reduced estimated leaf osmotic potential similarly for all genotypes; means for drought-stressed and control plants were –1.92 and –1.16 MPa, respectively. Freeman maples had a higher mean root: shoot weight ratio and a lower leaf surface area: root dryweight ratio than did red maples. Across genotypes, stomatal conductance of flooded plants initially increased by ≈20% and then fell to and remained below 50 mmol·s–1·m–2. Stomatal conductance of `Indian Summer' decreased to ≈20 mmol·s–1·m–2 after 8 days of flooding, indicating that this cultivar may be particularly sensitive to root-zone saturation.

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The limited use of the katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum Sieb. & Zucc.) in the landscape may be due to its reputed, but uncharacterized, intolerance of drought. We examined the responses of katsura trees subjected to episodes of drought. Container-grown trees in a greenhouse were subjected to one of three irrigation treatments, each composed of four irrigation phases. Control plants were maintained under well-hydrated conditions in each phase. Plants in the multiple-drought treatment were subjected to two drought phases, each followed by a hydration phase. Plants in the single-drought treatment were exposed to an initial drought phase followed by three hydration phases. Trees avoided drought stress by drought-induced leaf abscission. Plants in the multiple- and single-drought treatments underwent a 63% and 34% reduction in leaf dry weight and a 60% and 31% reduction in leaf surface area, respectively. After leaf abscission, trees in the single-drought treatment recovered 112% of the lost leaf dry weight within 24 days. Leaf abscission and subsequent refoliation resulted in a temporary reduction in the leaf surface area: root dry weight ratio. After relief from drought, net assimilation rate and relative growth rate were maintained at least at the rates associated with plants in the control treatment. We conclude that katsura is a drought avoider that abscises leaves to reduce transpirational water loss. Although plants are capable of refoliation after water becomes available, to maintain the greatest ornamental value in the landscape, siting of katsura should be limited to areas not prone to drought.

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We determined transpiration rate, survival, and rooting of unmisted, softwood cuttings of `Autumn Flame' red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and `Indian Summer' Freeman maple (Acer ×freemanii E. Murray). Effects of perlite at 24, 30, and 33 °C were assessed to determine whether responses of cuttings would be consistent with cultivar differences in resistance to root-zone heat previously shown with whole plants. During 7 d, cutting fresh mass increased by ≈20% at all temperatures for `Autumn Flame' red maple, but fresh mass of `Indian Summer' Freeman maple decreased by 17% and 21% at 30 and 33 °C, respectively. The percentage of cuttings of `Indian Summer' that were alive decreased over time and with increasing temperature. Transpiration rate decreased during the first half of the treatment period and then increased to ≈1.1 and 0.3 mmol·m-2·s-1 for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer', respectively. Mean rooting percentages over temperatures for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer' were 69 % and 16%, respectively. Mean rooting percentages at 24, 30, and 33 °C over both cultivars were 74%, 29%, and 25%, respectively. Over temperatures, mean root count per cutting was 41 and seven, and mean root dry mass per cutting was 4.9 and 0.4 mg, for `Autumn Flame' and `Indian Summer', respectively. Use of subirrigation without mist to root stem cuttings was more successful for `Autumn Flame' than for `Indian Summer'. Temperature × cultivar interactions for cutting fresh mass and the percentage of cuttings remaining alive during treatment were consistent with previous evidence that whole plants of `Autumn Flame' are more heat resistant than plants of `Indian Summer'. Mass and survival of stem cuttings during propagation in heated rooting medium may serve as tools for screening for whole-plant heat resistance among maple genotypes.

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Maackia amurensis Rupr. & Maxim. is a leguminous tree species possessing meritorious ornamental characteristics and is confirmed to associate with rhizobia that fix nitrogen, but few attempts to isolate symbiotically superior rhizobia have been made. Our goals were to isolate rhizobia from the root zones of indigenous trees of M. amurensis in two ecologically distinct forests in the Heilongjiang Province of China, characterize the rhizobia, and compare their effectiveness at causing nodulation of this host plant. Rhizobia were isolated and cultured from nodules that formed on seedlings grown in soils collected in May 1998, from the Maoershan (45°N, 127°E) and Liangshui (47°N, 128°E) Research Forests. Inoculants from each of the 160 isolates were applied to seedlings. A subset of 48 isolates that evoked the most nodules was partitioned by cluster analysis into 12 similarity groups based on measures of number of nodules (17.9 ± 6.5), the ratio of growth rate on two distinct media (2.26 ± 1.8), pH reaction as measured by absorption at 614 nm of bromthymol blue (0.98 ± 0.36), and tolerance to sodium chloride at 15 g/L (23 out of 48). By using single-isolate cultures of similar cellular concentration as inoculants, one isolate from each group and USDA 4349, an isolate obtained during previous research, are being compared for their capacity to infect and nodulate seedlings.

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We compared two putative Freeman maples [`Jeffersred', (Autumn Blaze ®) and `Indian Summer'] and five red maples [`Franksred' (Red Sunset ®), `Autumn Flame', `PNI 0268' (October Glory®), `Fairview Flame', and unnamed selection 59904] for effects of flooding on stomatal conductance. A method for quantifying changes in leaf color that occurred on flooded plants also was developed. Potted plants grown from rooted cuttings in a greenhouse were subjected to 75 days of root-zone inundation (flood treatment) or were irrigated frequently (control treatment). Across genotypes, stomatal conductance of flooded plants initially increased by about 20% and then fell to and was sustained below 50 mmol·s–1·m–2. Stomatal conductance of flooded plants of `Indian Summer' decreased to 20 mmo·s–1·m–2 after 8 days of inundation, and two of three flooded `Indian Summer' plants died during treatment. Other genotypes required at least twice this time to display a similar reduction in stomatal conductance, indicating `Indian Summer' may be particularly flood sensitive. Intensities of red, green, and blue color at a consistent interveinal position were analyzed with Visilog software by using scanned leaf images of the youngest fully expanded leaf of each plant in both treatments. A genotype × irrigation interaction existed for the ratio of green to red intensity. This method provided numerical data that corresponded well to differences among genotypes we observed visually. For example, while flooding did not alter the color of `Autumn Flame' leaves, the ratio of green to red was three times greater for controls of Autumn Blaze® than for the flooded plants of this cultivar.

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