The photosynthetic activity of four Rhododendron simsii cultivars `Dorothy Gish', `Paloma', `White Gish', and `Gloria' were studied at both the individual leaf level using a portable photosynthesis system (closed), or at the whole-plant level using assimilation chambers (semi-open system). Net photosynthetic assimilation curves in response to light in both systems will be established. The experimental points obtained will be adjusted to a photosynthetic model as described in the literature. The model parameters [original efficiency (α) dark respiration (Rd), maximum photosynthetic capacity to saturated light (Pmax)] will be presented. The evolution of these parameters will be presented as a function of the various stages of development. Also a comparison of the four cultivars will be shown.
Rosa ×hybrida `Samantha' plants were grown under high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, HPS lamps fitted with blue gel filters to reduce the red to far-red (R:FR) ratio, or metal halide lamps. R: FR ratios were 1:0.95, 1:2, and 1:0.26 for HPS; filtered HPS, and metal halide, respectively. Although the R: FR ratio for metal halide was 3.5 times higher than for HPS, the total energy from 630 to 750 nm was 2.8 times lower. At a nighttime supplemental photosynthetic photon flux of 70 to 75 μmol·m-2.s-1, plants under HPS and metal halide lamps produced 49 % and 64% more flowering shoots, respectively, than those under filtered HPS (averaged over two crop cycles). The quality index for flowers under HPS, metal halide, and filtered HPS was 25.0, 23.3, and 18.5, respectively. Vase life was 10 to 11 days, regardless of treatment.
We examined effects of single-layer glass and double-layer antifog polyethylene films on growth and flowering of stock (Matthiola incana L.) and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majalis L.) in a 3-year period. Stock produced more buds/spike with shorter but thicker stems under single-layer glass and under antifog 3-year polyethylene, and showed higher photosynthetic capacity (Pc) under single-layer glass than under other covers regardless of light regimes. Similarly, growth and flowering of snapdragon were significantly better under single-layer glass than in polyethylene houses. A supplemental light of 60 μmol·m-2·s-1 accelerated flowering by 20 to 25 days, improved flower quality, and eliminated differences in plant growth and quality of snapdragon between covering treatments. The Pc of stock was lower under all polyethylene covers than under single-layer glass. Among the three antifog polyethylene films, a slightly higher Pc was measured for plants under antifog 3-year polyethylene. However, there was no difference among covering treatments in the net photosynthetic rate (PN) at low light level (canopy level). Supplemental lighting reduced Pc of stock leaves, especially under single-layer glass, and diminished differences in Pc among covering treatments. Dry mass was more influenced by larger leaf area caused by higher leaf temperature than by PN. Overall, antifog 3-year polyethylene was a good covering material when both plant quality and energy saving were considered.
Low water retention in hanging baskets is a constraint in urban floriculture and hydrogel addition is an alternative. However, growth may be reduced with such a product depending on the substrate used. This study was conducted to determine the combined effects of substrate and type of hydrogel on the growth of Surfinia plants produced in hanging baskets. During Spring 1998, three rooted cuttings of Surfinia (Petunia × hybrida `Brilliant Pink') were transplanted into 30-cm hanging baskets. Plants were transplanted into one of the following substrates: 1) Pro-Mix BX, 2) a blend of 4/5 Pro-Mix BX and 1/5 compost, or 3) 1/3 perlite 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 compost (v/v). These three substrates were amended with two types of hydrogels. The first type, Soil Moist, is an acrylic-acrylamide copolymer and the second type is Aqua-Mend, an acrylic polymer. Plants were grown for 8 weeks under standard irrigation and fertilization practices. Plant growth characteristics, percent dry weight, mineral nutrition, and growth index were determined. Substrate physical properties such as available water content, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and total porosity were measured. The dry weight and growth index of plants in Pro-Mix BX amended with both types of hydrogels were greater than those plants growing in Pro-Mix BX without hydrogel. Plants growing in substrates 2 and 3 with hydrogels were smaller or similar respectively than those plants growing in substrates without hydrogel. Their effects on physical properties of substrates and plant growth will be discussed.
While the majority of terrestial plants are colonized in soils by vesicular-arbuscular fungi (AM), that does not mean that these species can form a symbiosis with AM fungi in an artificial substrate under commercial production conditions. The purpose of this study was to identify those plants having a colonization potential. In Mar. 1998, 51 species and cultivars of ornamental plants were inoculated with two vesicular-arbuscular fungi (Glomus intraradices Schenk & Smith, and Glomus etunicatum Becker & Gerdemann; Premier Tech, Rivière-du-Loup, Quèbec). Periodic evaluations of colonization were done 5, 7, 9, 12, and 16 weeks after seeding. More than 59% of these plants tested were shown to have a good colonization potential with G. intraradices. Species belonging to the Compositae and Labiatae families all colonized. Species in the Solanaceae family showed slight to excellent colonization. Several species studied belonging to the Amaranthaceae, Capparidaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Cruciferae, Gentianaceae, Myrtaceae et Portulaceae families were not colonized. Root colonization with G. etunicatum was not detected on these species and cultivars during this short experimental period.
qA 3-year study was undertaken to quantify the effect of four greenhouse covering materials on energy consumption, microclimate, and the growth and production of cut flowers Matthiola incana (Stocks) and Antirrhinum majalis (Snapdragons) in the greenhouse. The four materials are single glass (GL), polyethylene (PE) + anti-fog 1-year polyethylene (AF1), polyethylene + antifog 3-year polyethylene (AF3), and polyethylene + anti-fog thermal polyethylene (AFT). The effect of thermal screen and supplementary lighting (60 μmol·m–2·s–1) also are discussed. This study indicated that AFT film is the most energy efficient material and AF3 film is the most transparent to photosynthetic active radiation (PAR). For stocks, good quality can be obtained in GL and AF3 in terms of spike length, stem diameter, as well as number of buds and flowers. The stocks in GL, however, always possess the highest photosynthetic capacity, regardless light treatment. For snapdragons, the growth and flowering in PE houses were significantly improved by supplementary lighting