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  • Author or Editor: M.J. McFarland x
  • Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science x
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Growth of potted Ligustrum was controlled by uniconazole at 3.0 mg a.i./pot. Uniconazole inhibited growth by inducing shorter internodes with smaller diameter and by reducing secondary branching and new leaf production. As a result, the total leaf area of the treated plants was 6396 less than the control plants. The chlorophyll content of recently expanded leaves was 27% lower in treated than in control plants, even though there were no visual differences in leaf color. Leaves of treated plants also had a 28% higher stomatal density than the control. The liquid flow conductance of Ligustrum was 3.7 × 10-14 m·s-1·Pa-1 and was similar for plants in both treatments. Differences in daily water, use between the two treatments began to appear at the same time as differences in growth. Total water use of treated plants was 13% less than that of the control. When daily water use was normalized on a-leaf-area basis, water use between treatments was similar, suggesting that differences in total water use were primarily due to differences in leaf area. For plants in both treatments, peak sap flow rates in the main trunk ranged between 60 and 100 g·h-1·m-2. Leaf conductance, transpiration rates, and water potential were also similar for treated and control plants. Chemical name used: (E)-1-(4-chlorophenyll) -4,4, -dimethyl-2-(l,2,4-triazo1-l-y1)-l-penten-3-ol (uniconazole).

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Growth of potted hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.) was limited either by pruning or by a soil drench of `uniconazole at 3.0 mg a.i. per pot. Both treatments changed the water use of hibiscus. Five days after treatment with uniconazole, plants showed reduced water use, an effect that became more pronounced with time. Water use of pruned plants was reduced immediately after pruning, but soon returned to the level of the control due to the rapid regeneration of leaf area. Pruned or chemically treated plants used 6% and 33% less water, respectively, than the control. Chemically treated plants had a smaller leaf area, and individual leaves had lower stomatal density, conductance, and transpiration rate than control plants. Under well-watered conditions, the sap flow rate in the main trunk of control or pruned plants was 120 to 160 g·h-1·m-2, nearly three times higher than the 40 to 70 g·h-1·m-2 measured in chemically treated plants. Liquid flow conductance through the main trunk or stem was slightly higher in chemically treated plants due to higher values of leaf water potential for a given sap flow rate. The capacitance per unit volume of individual leaves appeared to be lower in chemically treated than in control plants. There was also a trend toward lower water-use efficiency in uniconazole-treated plants. Chemical name used: (E)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1,2,4-triazol-l-yl)-1-penten-3-ol (uniconazole).

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Abstract

Infrared (IR) thermometry has not been extensively applied in deciduous tree fruit production to determine water use. The objectives of this study were to a) examine IR measurement techniques for evaluating canopy temperatures in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.] trees; b) evaluate a foliage-minus-air temperature- (Tc – Ta) based diffusion equation for vapor flux used to predict tree water use; and c) measure the Tc – Ta response of irrigated peach trees over a range of air vapor pressure deficits. The mean Tc – Ta for a tree was similar for readings made from the canopy sides (horizontal orientation of the IR thermometer) or canopy tops (vertical orientation). Peach tree water use from weighing lysimeters was predicted within 9.4% ± 3% using the diffusion equation for vapor flux. Tc – Ta for irrigated peach trees was related to the air vapor pressure deficit (VPD). Data are presented to show that stomatal response to VPD does alter the Tc – Ta nonstressed baseline for peach at VPD > 2 kPa.

Open Access

Abstract

A stem flow gauge designed for herbaceous plants was adapted for measuring the absolute mass flow rate of sap in large stems and trunks of woody plants. The method uses a steady-state heat balance method in which a constant, known amount of heat is supplied to a stem segment. The axial and radial conductive heat fluxes away from the heated segment are measured, as well as the rise in sap temperature. The device can be operated by commonly available dataloggers and does not require calibration. In a greenhouse experiment with a small tree, the sap mass flow rate, as measured by the the gauge, agreed with the measured transpiration rate within 4% when both were integrated over 24-hr periods or longer. Short term comparisons (≤4hr) were less accurate, due to the changes in water content of the tree above the gauge, which cause a lag between transpiration rate and sap flow rate. The dynamic response of the tree and gauge system to sudden changes in sap flow was ≈20 min under midday conditions. Other than the insertion of temperature-sensing thermocouples 2 mm into the trunk, the gauge components are non-invasive and do not disturb the tree physically or physiologically to a significant extent.

Open Access