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  • Author or Editor: Piero Frangi x
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This experiment investigated the effect of different container design on growth and root deformation of littleleaf linden (Tilia cordata Mill.) and field elm (Ulmus minor Mill.). The trial was carried out over two growing seasons (2008 to 2009). In April 2008, 1-year-old bare-root seedlings of the two species were potted in three types of 1-L containers: Superoots® Air-Cell™ (The Caledonian Tree Company, Pathhead, UK), Quadro fondo rete (Bamaplast, Massa e Cozzile, Italy), and smooth-sided containers. At the beginning of the second growing season, the same plants were repotted in the following 3-L containers: Superoots® Air-Pot™ (The Caledonian Tree Company), Quadro antispiralizzante (Bamaplast), and smooth-sided containers. At the end of each growing season, a subset of the plants from each container type was harvested to determine shoot and root dry mass and root deformation (by dry weight of root deformed mass relative to the whole root mass). Chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf chlorophyll content were measured during the second growing season. For both species, at the end of first growing season, the poorest root architecture was observed in the smooth-sided containers, whereas Superoots® Air-Cell™ and Quadro fondo rete both reduced the percentage of deformed root mass. At the end of the second growing season, plants of both species grown in Superoots® Air-Pot™ showed less deformed root mass, whereas Quadro antispiralizzante provided good results only in littleleaf linden. A reduction of field elm root biomass and littleleaf linden shoot biomass was observed at the end of the trial in plants grown in Superoots® Air-Pot®. Plants grown in these containers showed less leaf chlorophyll content compared with plants grown in smooth-sided containers at the end of the second year.

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