The appropriate management of crop conditions can reduce the salt damage suffered by ornamental species and produce high-quality plants even when saline irrigation water is used. The aim of this study was to determine whether the pot-in-pot (PIP) cultivation system can improve the saline irrigation tolerance of Euonymus japonicus compared with aboveground potting (AGP) in terms of growth and development, aesthetic quality, ion accumulation, and leaf potentials. A 5-month experiment started on 6 Mar., and the interaction between the cultivation system (PIP or AGP) and water quality (fresh water and saline water, with 1.76 and 9.04 dS·m−1, respectively) was assessed. The substrate used was a mixture of white peat, coconut fiber, and perlite (40/40/20, v/v/v). A soil moisture sensor-controlled system was used to irrigate all the treatments when the AGP treatment irrigated with fresh water reached a volume water content (θ) of 0.33–0.35 m3·m−3. An interaction effect reduced the salinity effects in PIP and saline irrigation (PIP-s) compared with AGP and saline irrigation (AGP-s) in terms of damaged leaf area, plant dry weight (DW), and the compactness index. The PIP-s plants showed a survival rate of 93% compared with 57% in AGP-s. The substrate temperatures were milder in PIP regardless of the irrigation water, and the pore water electrical conductivity (EC) was 36% lower in PIP-s than in AGP-s. PIP reduced the Cl− accumulated in leaves but did not influence Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, or the K+/Na+ ratio. The lower amount of Cl− accumulated increased leaf water potential (Ψo) in PIP. Saline irrigation produced a general accumulation of Cl− and Na+ in leaves and decreased Ca2+, Mg2+, the K+/Na+ ratio, Ψo, the shoot to root ratio, and height. In general, PIP reduced the salinity damage to Euonymus japonicus, the main effect being the lower Cl− ion uptake, which improved its aesthetic value (less damage and greater compactness and growth).
Julián Miralles, Raquel Valdes, Juan J. Martínez-Sánchez and Sebastián Bañón
Julián Miralles-Crespo, María J. Sánchez-Blanco, Alejandra Navarro G., Juan J. Martínez-Sánchez, Jose A. Franco L. and Sebastián Bañón A.
The dendrometer has been proposed as a sensitive plant water indicator based on stem growth. However, studies including dendrometers have been mainly focused on fruit trees and less attention has been paid to ornamental shrubs (small plants). In the study described here, stem dendrometers were used to ascertain whether there is any relationship between water status and dendrometric indices in potted ornamental shrubs (1 to 2 cm diameter). For this purpose, three Mediterranean shrubs (Pittosporum tobira, Callistemon citrinus, and Rhamnus alaternus) were studied under water stress recovery conditions in winter, spring, and early summer. At the end of the experiment, an extreme water stress treatment, which resulted in plant death (August) was also studied. Stem diameter variations [maximum and minimum daily stem values (MXDS and MNDS, respectively), maximum daily shrinkage (MDS), and stem growth rate (SGR)], daily evapotranspiration (daily plant ET), and leaf water potential (Ψleaf) parameters were considered throughout the experiment. A regression analysis between dendrometric indices and daily plant ET showed that MXDS and MNDS were sensitive under water stress recovery conditions, especially in severe environmental conditions (spring and summer). The SGR in C. citrinus, the MDS in P. tobira, and both indices in R. alaternus were seen to be sensitive during the stress to death period. Although more studies are needed, the results confirm that the use of dendrometers in small plants may be useful to provide continuous and automated registers of the plant water status under different substrate water content and climatic conditions. However, the response of these indices may imply moderate water stress.
José M. López-Aranda, Carmen Soria, Luis Miranda, José F. Sánchez-Sevilla, Josefa Gálvez, Rosalía Villalba, Fernando Romero, Berta De Los Santos, Juan J. Medina, Javier Palacios, Emilio Bardón, Antonio Arjona, Antonio Refoyo, Anselmo Martínez-Treceño, Antoñeta De Cal, Paloma Melgarejo and Rafael Bartual
Aguedilla is a short-day strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) cultivar obtained by the Spanish public breeding program (Agreement CC01-0008-F1). 'Aguedilla' produces excellent extra-early, early, mid-season, and late-season large-sized, wedge-shaped fruit, and a low percentage of second quality fruit. An agronomic and sensorial characterization of this new cultivar, in comparison with the well-adapted cultivars 'Camarosa', 'Medina', and 'Ventana', was undertaken during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 crop seasons.