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  • Author or Editor: Chen Qibing x
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Ficus benjamina is considered to have a high degree of morphological and physiological plasticity in response to light levels. In this study, leaf area and thickness, specific leaf area (SLA), chlorophyll content, and photosynthetic characteristics of Ficus benjamina `Common'; grown in a shaded greenhouse under four maximum photosynthetic photon flux densities (PPFDs) of 150, 250, 450, or 650 μmol·m-2·s-1 were investigated. Results showed that plants grown under 450 and 650 PPFDs had higher SLA and leaf thickness but smaller leaf areas than those grown under 150 and 250 PPFDs. Total chlorophyll content per unit leaf area decreased as PPFDs increased. Net photosynthetic rates (Pn) increased from 2.7 μmol·m-2·s-1 under 150 PPFD to 5.7 μmol·m-2·s-1 under 450 PPFD, then slightly decreased to 5.5 μmol·m-2·s-1 under 650 PPFD. The highest net photosynthetic rate was not associated with higher intercellular CO2 concentrations (Ci) and stomatal conductance (gs) as plants grown under 250 PPFD had the highest (Ci) (259 ppm) and gs (0.1 mol·m-2·s-1), which suggests that photosynthetic enzymes could play a increasing role under 450 PPFD. Plant quality, however, was not necessarily correlated with the Pn because only those grown under 250 PPFD had appropriate heights, large and dark green leaves, and well-spread branches, and thus were graded higher than plants grown under the other PPFDs. This study shows that fine-tuning production light level is important for high quality Ficus benjamina production.

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Advancements in electronic devices have led to increases in mental stress in modern adults, and removing this stress is crucial for mental health. The purpose of this study is to examine the psychophysiological benefits of contact with indoor plants. The effects of transplanting plants (horticultural activity) and work on a mobile phone (control activity) were assessed by blood pressure measurement, electroencephalography (EEG), the semantic differential method (SDM), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The SDM data showed that the subjects felt more relaxed, comfortable and natural, and experienced lower anxiety after the transplantation of plants than the control group. Participant’s total alpha and beta wave mean values increased over time during the transplantation task but decreased at the end of the control task. The mean meditation score was significantly higher after transplanting plants. Our study results indicate that contact with plants may minimize mental stress.

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