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  • Author or Editor: Henry G. Taber x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Five polyethylene rowcover treatments (none, slitted white, slitted clear, chimney, and perforated) were combined factorially with four tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (Mill)] cultivars (`PikRed', `Jetstar', `Supersonic B', and `Heinz 1810') in a 2-year experiment. Clear or white rowcovers more than doubled early yield in 1986, from 1.2 to 2.9 t·ha-1. This early yield advantage resulted from an advancement of flowering rather than an increase in fruit number or size. In Spring 1987, high temperature caused increased fruit abortion with all rowcovers, resulting in early yield reduction. Flower production on the first two clusters for either year was not reduced by high temperatures and was increased for `Heinz 1810'. Tomatoes under slitted, white covers, the best-yielding treatment in 1987, yielded only 72% of those without rowcovers. Sustained high temperature, ≈ 40C for 3 consecutive hours or more, occurred with all rowcovers and correlated with early yield loss.

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Growth of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) plants decreases at root-zone temperatures (RZTs) >30 °C, but no research has been conducted on the effects of changes in root respiration on P acquisition at supraoptimal RZT. We monitored the changes every 3 to 5 days in root respiration, root surface phosphatase activity, and P acquisition of `Jet Star' tomato plants grown in Hoagland's no. 1 solution held at 25 and 36 °C RZT for 19 days. Root respiration rate in plants grown at 25 °C increased linearly from RZT initiation to day 12, but there was no difference in respiration between days 12 and 19. Root respiration at 36 °C, however, increased from RZT initiation to day 8 and then decreased. Shoot P concentration and root phosphatase activity for plants grown at 25 °C did not change during the experiment. Shoot P concentration for plants at 36 °C, however, linearly decreased over time, and root phosphatase activity linearly increased over time. Decreased shoot growth and demand for P along with decreased root respiration after day 8 probably resulted in the decreased P uptake and shoot P concentration in plants grown at 36 °C RZT.

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