Global surface temperatures are predicted to increase by 1 to 4 °C by the year 2100. To unravel the risks from rising temperature to Taiwan’s summer leafy vegetable production, the phenotypical and physiological responses of two leafy crops, pak choi (Brassica chinensis L. cv. Quanzhou) and edible amaranth (Amaranthus tricolor L. cv. White leaf), were compared under an elevated temperature. A temperature increase from 28 to 32 °C resulted in lower leaf calcium, magnesium, and manganese concentrations (dry weight basis) in pak choi without significant changes in shoot dry weight, suggesting potential negative effects of the elevated temperature on pak choi leaf nutrient status. However, increased temperature promoted both root and leaf growth in edible amaranth, which may be beneficial to its yield, making edible amaranth a potential summer leafy vegetable crop for Taiwan. Furthermore, a temperature change from 28 to 32 °C resulted in a higher leaf nitrate concentration in edible amaranth, because of the lower nitrate reductase activity (NRA). Thus, suitable nitrogen fertilization rates and programs under elevated temperature conditions should be reconsidered in the future. To sum up, a future rise in summer temperatures may impose negative impacts on pak choi leaf nutrient status but positive impacts on edible amaranth production.
The king oyster mushroom [Pleurotus eryngii (DC.:Fr.) Quél.] is gaining popularity across the world due to its excellent taste, high nutritional quality, medicinal value, and long shelf life. Conventional substrates for king oyster mushroom cultivation consist of sawdust derived from various tree species. Sawdust demand is increasing worldwide, creating a need for alternative materials that can at least partially replace sawdust as substrate for king oyster mushroom. In Taiwan, as in other countries that grow fruit trees, pruned fruit tree branches are an expensive agricultural waste, particularly if they are not recycled or reused. In the present study, we evaluated substrates containing sawdust and different proportions of material ground from pruned wax apple or Indian jujube branches for cultivation of king oyster mushroom. Our results suggested that among all five substrate mixes tested, the best substitute for conventional sawdust (100% sawdust) was a substrate that contained 75% sawdust mixed with 25% materials ground from trimmed wax apple branches (Wax apple 25%). Furthermore, determination of mineral element content, pH, and electrical conductivity (EC) levels of the substrates both before spawn inoculation and after harvesting revealed no significant changes in mineral content, a slight reduction in pH value, and a minor increase in EC levels after cultivation. Taken together, results from this study suggest that agricultural wastes from pruned fruit tree branches can partially replace sawdust as the cultivation substrate for king oyster mushroom.