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- Author or Editor: D.R. Decoteau x
The influence of N and K rates in Hoagland's nutrient solution on Jalapeño pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plant growth and pod production was determined on greenhouse-grown plants in sand culture. Varying the rates of N (1 to 30 mm) and K (1 to 12 mm) in Hoagland's solution identified optimum concentrations for Jalapeño plant growth and pod production. Two experiments were conducted to determine Jalapeño pepper sensitivity to differential fertilization. In the experiment seeded in April, nutrient treatments began at transplanting, and in the one seeded in May, treatments began after all plants had flower buds and half had flowered. Biomass and pod production per plant responded curvilinearly to N rate in both experiments. Optimum N rate for pod yield was 15 mm. Nitrogen rate affected pungency of pods only in the first experiment, with 1 mm N reducing capsaicin levels in fruit compared to other N rates. Biomass, fruit count, and fruit weight per plant increased linearly with increasing K rate in the first experiment and curvilinearly with K rate in the second experiment. The optimum K rate for pod yield was 6 mm. Potassium rates did not affect pod pungency. Jalapeño peppers grown in sand culture required 15 mm N and at least 3 mm K for optimum pod production.
End-of-day (EOD) light treatments were used to study phytochrome involvement in photosynthesis and photosynthate partitioning in watermelon plants. Two-week-old plants were treated with brief low-intensity red (R) or far-red (FR) light for 9 days at the end of daily light period. Petiole elongation in the first two leaves was the first significant growth change in FR-treated plants compared to other plants after 3 days of treatments. This petiole elongation was accompanied by significantly higher photosynthate partitioning to petioles, even without increase in above-ground dry weight of plants. Net CO2 assimilation rate in the second leaf was significantly higher in FR treated plants on a weight basis after 3 days of treatments. Far-red-treated plants had lower chlorophyll content per leaf area and higher stem specific weight compared to R-treated plants after 3 and 6 days of treatments, respectively. Transpiration and stomatal conduction were higher in FR-treated plants compared to other treatments after 3 days of treatments. The EOD FR regulated growth and photosynthate partitioning patterns were reversible when FR treated plants were immediately followed by R. This implies EOD R: FR ratio acting through the phytochrome regulates the growth and development processes in watermelon plants.
An Air Quality Learning and Demonstration Center has been developed within the Arboretum at Penn State Univ.. The Center provides opportunities where students (of all ages) and teachers (grade-school through to classes within the Univ.) can learn about air quality as one of our most important natural resources. A seasonally interactive display of air quality monitoring instrumentation, self guided walkways through gardens of air pollution sensitive plant species, innovative techniques for demonstrating the effects of air pollutants on plants, displays of recent research findings, industry supported displays of pollution abatement technologies, and a teaching pavilion are within the Center. A Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection air quality monitoring station with ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, PM < 2.5 u mass and speciation samplers, and a complete meteorological station provide data on the immediate environmental parameters. These data are relayed to an LCD crystal display board that has been mounted on the outside of the monitoring building; visitors are able to see the various measures of the air quality on a real time basis. Pannier type fiberglass display panels provide understandings of the various facets of air pollution formation and transport phenomena, air quality monitoring methods, the functions of open-top chambers, foliar symptoms expressed by pollution sensitive plants within the bioindicator gardens, and the impacts of pollution on agricultural and forested ecosystems. Handicapped accessible walkways lead visitors throughout the Center to the Teaching Pavilion that easily accommodates 80 persons. The pavilion is equipped with drop down curtains, electric power, and internet connections.
Factorial combinations of ± root pruning (RP) and ± summer pruning (SP) were initiated in 1991 as subplots within a Redhaven/Lovell study of orchard training systems: Open Center (OC), Y-Trellis (YT), Central Leader (CL), and Meadow Orchard (MO) established in 1985. Root pruning was imposed at bloom (March 28) at 76 cm from the trunk to a depth of 45 cm. Summer pruning consisted of preharvest removal of water sprouts (June 5). Canopy density, quantified by transmittance of PAR radiation through the canopy, was greatest in OC and MO and least in YT and CL systems. SP and RP treatments further reduced canopy density by 35 to 80%. There were no main or interactive effects of SP and RP on 1991 yields or fruit quality, and also no interactive effects of orchard systems with SP and RP. Thus, SP and RP reduced canopy density without negative effects on fruit. RP, however, advanced harvest date by ca 4 days. A parallel study was also initiated in 1991 to determine the effects of root pruning distance (30, 60, 90 cm from the trunk, or no RP) on canopy density, yield, and fruit quality of mature, OC-trained Redhaven/ and Jefferson/Lovell. Reduction in canopy density without loss of yield or fruit size was obtained at a RP distance between 60 and 90 cm.
`Spears' (nonpinched and pinched) and `Yellow Mandalay' (pinched) chrysanthemums were grown in growth chambers equipped with panels filled with liquids that served as spectral filters. Light quality was altered by reducing blue light, increasing red: far-red (R: FR) light, or reducing R: FR. Control panels did not selectively alter light transmission. Photosynthetic photon flux was the same in all chambers. All plants grown under increased R: FR filters had reduced height, reduced internode length, and increased chlorophyll content compared to controls. Reduction in blue light decreased chlorophyll content of pinched plants compared to controls. Pinched plants grown under increased R: FR light and !ong days developed fewer nodes than controls due to the formation of abnormal capitula; the controls and plants from the other treatments developed more nodes before producing similarly abnormal capitula. Stem diameter and leaf area did not differ due to treatments.
The effects of two winter cover crops, rye and crimson clover, on bell pepper yield were studied. Cover crops were planted in fall and incorporated into the soil prior to bell pepper planting. Both cover crops increased the marketable number and weight of bell peppers, and reduced the cull number of bell peppers compared to fallow (control) treatment. Delaying the harvest increased the marketable yield in both cover crops. Since there was no difference in bell pepper yield between two cover crops, both cover crops can be used effectively for bell pepper production. Use of cover crops may reduce the production costs and harmful effects on the environment by reducing chemical dependency, and increase the crop yield.
Foliage of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] is susceptible to injury induced by ambient concentrations of ozone. Injury symptoms consisted of a premature chlorotic mottle of leaf tissue, followed by stippling and bleaching of the foliage, and necrosis. Older, more mature leaves were more affected than younger leaves. There was a differential cultivar response to ozone, which identified potential insensitive genotypes.
Tomatoes and beans were grown in rotation for 4 years with three cover crop treatments (bareground, wheat, and crimson clover) and three nitrogen rates (0, 60, and 120 kg N/ha). Over the course of the study, when no additional N was provided, lowest yields of tomatoes and beans were obtained with the wheat cover crop. With the highest N rate, however, there was little difference in yields of beans or tomatoes with any of the cover crop treatments. Considering the benefits associated with the use of cover crops, it is encouraging to see that with proper N amendment, yields obtained with cover crop systems can be comparable to conventional bareground systems.
Cucumber and potato crops were tested in a rotation with winter cover crops at different locations in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina from 1991 to 1994. Biomass DM of vegetable crops was greatest when grown after crimson clover. Clover plantings resulted in a greater biomass than wheat when preceded spring cucumber crop. Vegetable biomass produced on clover plots or with N rates of 60 to 120 kg·ha–l was equivalent. Nitrogen recovery by cover and vegetable crops was enhanced by clover plantings. Clover biomass (tops only) provided an average of 138 kg N/ha for the cucumber crop, compared to an average of 64 kg N/ha provided by wheat. Nitrogen recovery by vegetable crops was also enhanced with 60–120 kg N/ha rates. Yields were highest when high N rates were used and when crops were produced on clover plots. Vegetable yield, cover crop biomass, and N recovery were positively correlated with vegetable biomass and applied N.
`Jewel' sweetpotato was no-till planted into crimson clover, wheat, or winter fallow. Then N was applied at 0, 60, or 120 kg·ha–1 in three equal applications to a sandy loam soil. Each fall the cover crop and production crop residue were plowed into the soil, beds were formed, and cover crops were planted. Plant growth of sweetpotato and cover crops increased with N rate. For the first 2 years crimson clover did not provide enough N (90 kg·ha–1) to compensate for the need for inorganic N. By year 3, crimson clover did provide sufficient N to produce yields sufficient to compensate for crop production and organic matter decomposition. Soil samples were taken to a depth of 1 m at the time of planting of the cover crop and production crop. Cover crops retained the N and reduced N movement into the subsoil.