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Matthew W. Kent and David W. Reed

The effects of cations vs. anions in salinity studies cannot be separated by traditional means. Analysis of mixture experiments allows ionic ef-fects to be analyzed individually by varying proportions of ions without changing their total concentrations. A series of mixture experiments were performed in the greenhouse to determine the effects of the anions bicarbonate, chloride, and sulfate, given a constant and equal concentration of the cation sodium, on vinca `Pacifica Red' grown with different irrigation systems and leaching fractions. In subirrigation, increasing total ion concentrations from 30 to 60 meq/L total ion concentrations (TIC) caused a general decrease in shoot fresh and dry weights, with bicarbonate contributing to the greatest degree of reduction, and sulfate the least. Root dry weight was similarly decreased with increasing TIC, but the differences between individual ion effects were more subtle. SPAD data, an indication of chlorophyll concentration, showed a sharp decrease with increase in bicarbonate, but not with sulfate or chloride. Medium pH increased as TIC increased, being influenced primarily by bicarbonate. Conversely, growing medium EC was influenced most by sulfate and chloride, and least by bicarbonate with increasing TIC. At 30 meq/L TIC, top-watered treatments with a leaching fraction (LF) of 5% generally had reduced shoot and root dry weight without regard to ion species, while a leaching fraction of 35% produced results more similar to those of subirrigation. While medium EC and pH varied with layer and irrigation method, bicarbonate generally affected EC least and pH most.

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Judith D. Caldwell and David W. Reed

Introductory horticulture courses are taught in almost every 4 year and 2 year horticulture program across the country, however, purpose, content and approach can vary widely among schools. Survey results will show how different schools use their introductory course (recruiting, foundation, service), class composition, topics most commonly included, textbooks used, standard teaching techniques and new or innovative techniques that have been especially effective.

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Matthew W. Kent and David Wm. Reed

Greenhouse cultural methods must change rapidly to minimize runoff and to keep pace with environmental regulation aimed at protecting water resources. Two experiments were designed to investigate the effect of N fertilization rate on New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens ×hawkeri) and peace lily (Spathiphyllum Schott) in an ebb-and-flow subirrigation system. Maximum growth response for impatiens was centered around 8-mM N levels as measured by root and shoot fresh and dry weight, height, leaf number, leaf area, and chlorophyll concentration. For peace lily, growth peaked around 10 mM N. Growing medium was divided into three equal layers: top, middle, and bottom. Root distribution favored the middle and bottom layers, and the relative distribution of roots was consistent as N level increased. Soluble salts remained low in middle and bottom layers at N concentrations below 10 mM, but increased significantly for all soil layers at levels above 10 mM. The top layer contained two to five times higher soluble salt levels than in the middle or bottom layers at all N levels. Increased nitrate concentration mimicked increases in soluble salts, while pH decreased as N concentration increased for both impatiens and peace lily.

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Matthew W. Kent and David Wm. Reed

Greenhouse cultural methods must minimize runoff to keep pace with environmental regulation aimed at protecting water resources. Two experiments were designed to investigate the effect of N fertilization rate on New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens ×hawkeri) and peace lily (Spathiphyllum Schott) in an ebb-and-flow subirrigation system. Maximum growth response for impatiens was centered around 8 mm N levels as measured by root and shoot fresh and dry weight, height, leaf number, leaf area, and chlorophyll concentration. For peace lily, growth peaked at about 10 mm N. Growing medium was divided into three equal layers: top, middle, and bottom. Root distribution favored the middle and bottom layers, and the relative distribution of roots was consistent as N level increased. EC remained low in middle and bottom layers at N concentrations below 10 mm, but increased significantly for all layers at levels above 10 mm. The EC for the top layer was 2 to 5 times higher than in the middle or bottom layers at all N levels. Increased nitrate concentration paralleled increased EC, while pH decreased as N concentration increased for impatiens and peace lily.

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Michael A. Arnold, Tim D. Davis and David W. Reed

A group of 53 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada offering degrees in horticulture, or closely related plant science degrees, was surveyed to determine various characteristics associated with the degree programs offered, demographics of students and faculty, and selected procedures and practices associated with administration of these graduate programs. Total response rate was 94%, yielding 85% usable completed surveys. Very few programs (0-3 per degree type) were offered via distance education and on average only 4.1% to 4.5% of resident instruction program students participated in distance education courses. Domestic students averaged 64% to 75% of enrollment. Students were 69% to 73% white. Asian students were the predominant minority group at 12% to 16% of enrollment, followed by African Americans (3% to 8%) and Hispanics (1% to 4%). Most institutions provided out-of-state tuition waivers (75%), and often in-state-tuition waivers (61%), to those students on assistantships or fellowships. Typical commitments to students were 3 years for a PhD and 2 years for a master's degree program. Research assistantships were the dominant form of assistance at all institutions (38% to 53% of students), while teaching assistantships contributed significant secondary funding (7% to 13%). With the exception of mean maximum fellowships, mean maximum assistantships ($11,499-$13,999) at non-1862 Morrill Act universities (NMAU) averaged near the mean minimums ($13,042-$14,566) for the corresponding assistantship types at 1862 Morrill Act universities (MAU). Requirements for teaching experience ranged from 41% of PhD programs to 18% of non-thesis master's degree programs. Typical departments contained 29 faculty members, of which 44% were full professors, 27% associate professors, 19% assistant professors, 6% junior or senior lecturers, and 3% were in other classifications. Traditional 12-month appointments (65.9% of faculty) were predominant at MAU. With the exception of junior lecturer positions, mean salaries at MAU averaged $9125, $6869, $8325, and $28,505 more for professor, associate professor, assistant professor, and senior lecturer, respectively, than at NMAU. This study provides useful information for departments undergoing external review or revision of graduate programs.

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Carrie L. Whitcher, Matthew W. Kent and David Wm. Reed

The objective of this study was to quantify the optimum rates of water-soluble phosphorus (P) under constant nitrogen and potassium on the growth of new guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri Bull.) `Paradise Violet' and vinca Catharanthus roseus `Pacifica Red' in soilless media in a recirculating subirrigation system. The experiment was designed so that only phosphate varied between treatments while all other nutrients remained constant. The ammoniacal N to nitrate N ratio was varied to counter balance increases in phosphate. Sodium was used as a counter ion to phosphate at higher concentrations of phosphate; sodium proved to be toxic at concentrations above 6 mm. In the new guinea impatiens experiment, there was a small increase in K due to the use of dibasic K phosphate to buffer pH. All growth parameters measured (height, leaf number, flower number, and shoot fresh and dry weight) showed significant differences with increasing P rate. Depending on the growth parameter measured, quadratic–linear models revealed an optimum P rate of 0.1 to 0.96 mm for new guinea impatiens `Paradise Violet' and 0.45 to 1.25 mm P for vinca `Pacifica Red'. For dry shoot weight, a common measure of optimum plant growth, the optimum P rate was 0.75 mm P for new guinea impatiens `Paradise Violet' and 0.67 mm P for vinca `Pacifica Red'. For flower number, a common measure of floral quality, the optimal P rate was 0.96 mm P for new guinea impatiens `Paradise Violet' and 1.25 mm P for vinca `Pacifica Red'. Electrical conductivity (EC) of the growing media increased significantly with increasing rate of P. At all rates, EC was significantly greater in the top layer than in the bottom and middle layers. The pH of the growing medium did not vary in relation to P concentration.

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Traci Armstrong, Matthew W. Kent and David Wm. Reed

With the rising concern for the environment and an increase in governmental regulation, greenhouse growers must find alternative methods for irrigation that will avoid ground and surface water contamination. Subirrigation is one of these alternatives, but subirrigation is more sensitive to water quality than traditional systems and many growers are faced with poor water quality. This experiment tested seven different water sources from across the state of Texas. Each source was replicated twice using New Guinea impatiens `Illusion'. Leaf count, plant height, and plant width were measured at 2-week intervals. Plants were harvested at 8 weeks and measured for shoot fresh weight, shoot dry weight, and overall quality. Electrical conductivity of the upper, middle, and bottom layers of the container medium was measured. Compared to the reverse osmosis control, fresh weight was reduced by 12% to 30%, average leaf number by –7% to 56%, quality evaluation by –8% to 61%, average width by –5% to 27%, and the average height by 8% to 34%. The results will be explained based on differences in analysis of the various water and media samples.

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Michael A. Arnold, Tim D. Davis and David W. Reed

Surveys were sent to 53 North American universities offering horticulture curricula to characterize the types of degrees offered, student demographics, participation in distance education, remuneration and assistance available for graduate students, and faculty rank and salary distributions. Twenty-five institutions responded. This represented 10 PhD, 14 MS, and 12 M. Agr. or MS non-thesis professional degree programs in horticulture and 13 PhD, 13 MS, 12 M. Agr. or M. non-thesis degree programs in plant sciences or a closely related area. On average, graduate students were predominantly Caucasian (70.7%), followed by Asian (16.1%), Black (3.2%), Hispanic (2.6%), and Native American (0.2%). Most were supported by research assistantships (56.3%), with the second largest group being self-supported (13.8%). Teaching assistantships were a small source of support (4.6%). Stipends (12-month equivalent) where variable among fellowships ($2000 to $30,000), teaching ($6600 to $25,000), research ($2000 to $25,239), extension ($12,000 to $17,000), or combination assistantships ($900 to $26,000). Most assistantships included a stipend plus in-state and out-of-state tuition waivers: about half included medical insurance. Mean full-time in-state tuition and fees was $6,535, while out-of-state was $13,876. Participation in distance courses was greatest for non-degree students (18.3%), and low for all others (9.2% to 6.4%). The average academic unit had 15.1 professors, 8.9 associate professors, 6.8 assistant professors, 0.3 senior lecturers, and 1.6 lecturers with mean reported average salaries of $85,142; $70,132; $58,918; $55,608; and $37,887, respectively.

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Nihal C. Rajapakse, David Wm. Reed and John W. Kelly

Experiments were conducted to evaluate Dendranthema × grandiflorum (Ramat.) Kitamura cv. Bright Golden Anne quality and post-storage growth following storage in the range of 5 to 35C, initial soil water levels (60%, 80%, 100%), and durations (0 to 8 days). Transpiration rate showed a quadratic relationship with storage temperature. Initial soil water content had little effect on transpiration rate in dark storage environments. The lowest transpiration rate was observed in plants stored at 15 or 20C. Amino acid (AA) leakage and post-storage growth were well-correlated. Plants stored at or above 25C became etiolated during storage, while storage at 15C or below did not cause etiolation. Temperatures at or below 15C did not affect subsequent growth rate of chrysanthemum plants. Storage at 20C and above caused a reduction in post-storage growth rate following 2 days of storage.

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Michael A. Arnold, R. Daniel Lineberger, Tim D. Davis, David W. Reed and William J. McKinley

A comprehensive survey of American and Canadian universities that offer masters, doctoral, or both degrees in horticulture resulted in responses from 27 academic units. Units were surveyed regarding types of degrees offered, admissions policies, demographic characteristics of students, financial assistance provided to students, faculty ranks and salaries, and metrics by which the programs were evaluated by university administration. About 80% of the programs resided in 1862 Morrill Act land-grant institutions (LG) with the remainder housed in other non-land-grant institutions (NLG). Thirty-eight percent of reporting LG programs existed as stand-alone horticulture departments, whereas horticulture programs were combined with other disciplines in the remainder. Admissions criteria were most consistent among LG programs. Participation in distance education programs was low, but growing. Financial support of graduate students was more common in LG programs. Most schools offered some sort of tuition reduction to those students on assistantships/fellowships and offered health insurance options. Payment of fees was rare and the level of stipends provided varied substantially among programs. International student enrollment was greatest at LG programs and had remained steady in recent years. Gender equity was present among graduate students, with nearly equal male and female enrollment. Most graduate students at both LG (63.6%) and NLG (75.0%) programs were non-Hispanic White; although overall minority enrollment had increased but was still not similar in distribution to that of the general U.S. population. Professors (46.7%) and Associate Professors (28.3%) dominated the faculty ranks while Assistant Professors (19.3%) and lecturers/instructors (5.7%) constituted a much smaller portion of the faculty. Faculty salaries varied tremendously among institutions, especially for senior faculty. Female and ethnic minorities were underrepresented in faculty ranks compared with the general U.S. population. Aside from total graduate program enrollment, the relative importance of various evaluation metrics for programs was highly variable among institutions. Data discussed herein should be useful to universities with horticulture graduate programs for peer institution comparisons during program assessments, accreditation reviews, or for strategic planning purposes.