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  • Author or Editor: Chris A. Martin x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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A three-dimensional computer model was developed to simulate numerically the thermal environment of a polyethylene container-root medium system. An energy balance was calculated at the exterior container wall and the root medium top surface. Thermal energy exchanges at the system's boundaries were a function of radiation, convection, evaporation, and conduction energy flaxes. A forward finite difference form of a transient heat. conduction equation was used to calculate rates of temperature changes as a result of thermal energy exchanges at the system's boundaries. The χ2“goodness-to-fit” test was used to validate computer-generated values to actual measured temperature data. Probabilities for the null hypothesis of no association ranged from P = 0.45 (Julian day 271), to P = 0.81 (Julian day 190), with P ≥ 0.70 on nine of 10 validation days in 1989. Relative to net radiation and convection, conduction and evaporation had little effect on thermal energy exchanges at the root medium top surface during sunlight hours. The rate of movement of thermal energy (thermal diffusivity) was slower and generally resulted in lower temperatures in a pine bark medium than in a pine bark medium supplemented with sand when volumetric water content (VMC) ranged from 0.25 to 0.45.

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Growth and topological indices of `Eureka' lemon were measured after 6 months in well-watered and well-fertilized conditions and factorial combinations of moderate (29/21C day/night) or high (42/32C day/night) temperatures and ambient (350 to 380 μmol·mol) or elevated (constant 680 μmol·mol-1) CO2. In high temperatures, plants were smaller and had higher levels of leaf chlorophyll a than in moderate temperatures. Moreover, plants in high temperatures and elevated CO2 had about 15 % higher levels of leaf chlorophyll a than those in high temperatures and ambient CO2. In high temperatures, plant growth in elevated CO2 was about 87% more than in ambient CO2. Thus, high CO2 reduced the negative effect of high temperature on shoot growth. In moderate temperatures, plant growth in elevated CO2 was only about 21% more than in ambient CO2. Irrespective of temperature treatments, shoot branch architecture in elevated CO2 was more hierarchical than those in ambient CO2. Specific shoot extension, a topological measure of branch frequency, was not affected by elevated CO2 in moderate temperatures, but was increased by elevated CO2 enrichment in high temperatures-an indication of decreased branch frequency and increased apical dominance. In moderate temperatures, plants in elevated CO2 had fibrous root branch patterns that were less hierarchical than at ambient CO2. The lengths of exterior and interior fibrous roots between branch points and the length of second-degree adventitious lateral branches were increased >50% by high temperatures compared with moderate temperatures. Root length between branch points was not affected by CO2 levels.

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