The National Renewable Energy Laboratory developed the National Solar Radiation Database to provide accessible solar radiation data to the research community for various uses. Previously, we created a series of monthly daily light integral (DLI) maps to provide a tool for horticulturists to estimate the potential growth and flowering responses for various plants throughout the year. The original DLI maps were based on solar radiation data from 239 sites recorded from 1961 to 1990. The DLI maps presented in this article were created from an updated database that included data from 1998 to 2009. This database provides higher resolution data modeled from satellite images of cloud cover. The data are presented in pixels with each pixel representing 100 km2 of land across the lower 48 United States and Hawaii, whereas the Alaska data are 1600 km2 pixels. The database provided global horizontal irradiance data that were converted to DLI (mol·m−2·d−1) using the conversion factor of 0.007265 mol (400–700 nm)·Wh−1 (400–2700 nm), which assumes that 45% of the solar radiation is in the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400–700 nm) region and 4.48 μmol·J−1 is the conversion from radiometric to quantum units. The updated DLI maps provide more geographically precise data reflecting recent weather patterns. We present a comprehensive review of recent research exploring the growth and flowering responses of horticultural crops to DLI.
An energy-balance model is described that predicts vinca (Catharanthus roseus L.) shoot-tip temperature using four environmental measurements: solar radiation and dry bulb, wet bulb, and glazing material temperature. The time and magnitude of the differences between shoot-tip and air temperature were determined in greenhouses maintained at air temperatures of 15, 20, 25, 30, or 35 °C. At night, shoot-tip temperature was always below air temperature. Shoot-tip temperature decreased from 0.5 to 5 °C below air temperature as greenhouse glass temperature decreased from 2 to 15 °C below air temperature. During the photoperiod under low vapor-pressure deficit (VPD) and low air temperature, shoot-tip temperature increased ≈4 °C as solar radiation increased from 0 to 600 W·m-2. Under high VPD and high air temperature, shoot-tip temperature initially decreased 1 to 2 °C at sunrise, then increased later in the morning as solar radiation increased. The model predicted shoot-tip temperatures within ±1 °C of 81% of the observed 1-hour average shoot-tip temperatures. The model was used to simulate shoot-tip temperatures under different VPD, solar radiation, and air temperatures. Since the rate of leaf and flower development are influenced by the temperature of the meristematic tissues, a model of shoot-tip temperature will be a valuable tool to predict plant development in greenhouses and to control the greenhouse environment based on a plant temperature setpoint.
The effect of temperature on axillary bud and lateral shoot development of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd.) `Eckespoint Lilo' and `Eckespoint Red Sails' was examined. Rooted `Eckespoint Lilo' cuttings were transplanted and placed into growth chambers maintained at 21, 24, 27, or 30 °C for 2 weeks before apex removal. The percentage of nodes developing lateral shoots after apex removal was 68%, 69%, 73%, or 76% at 21, 24, 27, or 30 °C, respectively. Cuttings were removed from the lateral shoots, rooted, and placed into a 21 °C greenhouse, and the apices were removed. The percentage of nodes developing into lateral shoots on cuttings taken from plants held at 21, 24, 27, and 30 °C were 74%, 65%, 66%, and 21%, respectively. Of the cuttings in the 30 °C treatment, 83% of the nodes not producing a lateral shoot had poorly developed axillary buds or no visible axillary bud development. Visual rating of axillary bud viability decreased from 100% to 0% when `Eckespoint Red Sails' plants were transferred from a 21 °C greenhouse to a greenhouse maintained at 27 °C night temperature and 30 °C for 3 hours followed by 33 °C for 10 hours and 30 °C for 3 hours during the 16-hour day. Transfer from the high-temperature greenhouse to a 21 °C greenhouse increased axillary bud viability from 0% to 95%. Axillary buds of leaves not yet unfolded were sensitive to high temperatures, whereas those of unfolded leaves (i.e., fully developed correlatively inhibited buds) were not. Sixteen consecutive days in the high-temperature treatment were required for axillary bud development of `Eckespoint Red Sails' to be inhibited.
The effects of temperature and daily-integrated photosynthetic photon flux (PPFDI) on African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha Wendl.) flower initiation and development were quantified to provide the basis for an inflorescence development model. The percentage of leaf axils in which an inflorescence initiated and continued development increased as the PPFDI increased from 1 to 4 mol·m-2·day-1, while the rate of inflorescence development was a function of the average daily temperature (ADT). The appearance of a visible flower bud (VB) in a leaf axil was related to the growth of the subtending leaf blade. A polynomial model based on ADT and PPFDI was used to describe leaf blade length at visible bud (LBLVB). A nonlinear model was used to describe the influence of ADT on leaf expansion rate (LER). Inflorescence appearance in the leaf axil was predicted by measuring LBL and estimating the time for the leaf blade to develop to the length required for VB. A phasic-development scale was developed to quantify inflorescence development. Days required for an inflorescence to develop from VB to first open flower was described as a function of ADT and either inflorescence height or inflorescence development stage (IDS). Days from leaf emergence to first open flower for the inflorescence initiated in that leaf axil decreased from 86 to 55 as ADT increased from 18 to 26C.
Leaf unfolding rate (LUR) was determined for `Utah' African violet plants grown in growth chambers under 20 combinations of temperature and photosynthetic photon flus (PPF). A nonlinear model was used to predict LUR as a function of shoot temperature and daily integrated PPF. The maximum predicted LUR was 0.27 leaves/day, which occurred at 25C and a daily integrated PPF of 10 mol/m2 per day. The optimum temperature for leaf unfolding decreased to 23C, and the maximum rate decreased to 0.18 leaves/day as the daily integrated PPF decreased from 10 to 1 mol/m2 per day. A greenhouse experiment using 12 combinations of air temperature and daily integrated PPF was conducted to validate the LUR model. Plant temperatures used in the model predicted leaf development more accurately than did air temperatures, but using average hourly temperature data was no more accurate than using average daily temperature data.
In 1998, `Freedom Red' poinsettia stock plants were grown outdoors under 0%, 60%, and 80% shade cloth. The stock plants received a single pinch leaving 10 nodes below the pinch. Cuttings were harvested once per week for 3 weeks. The cuttings were propagated, transplanted, pinched, and grown to anthesis in the same greenhouses. After anthesis, the plants were dropped onto a concrete pad from increasing heights ranging from 10 to 70 cm. Stem breakage was recorded each time the plants were dropped. Stem breakage of the finished plants increased as the percentage of shade cloth over the stock plants increased and as cutting harvest week number increased. From the Week 1 cuttings, 0%, 8%, and 10% of the lateral stems broke off of plants from the 0%, 60%, and 80% shade cloth treatments when the plants were dropped 20 cm. From Week 2 cuttings, 6%, 30%, and 36% of the lateral stems broke off the 0%, 60%, and 80% shade treatments. From Week 3 cuttings, 0%, 29%, and 43% of the lateral stems broke off of the 0%, 60%, and 80% shade treatments that were dropped 20 cm. Thirty-six percent of the Week 3 cuttings broke off of the 80% shade treatment plants before anthesis, while none of the lateral shoots broke off of the 0% shade treatment until the plants were dropped from 40 cm.
Our objective was to determine the effect of planting date and pinching on flowering dates and plant size of field-grown garden mums. Experiments were conducted in the field during two consecutive growing seasons in 1997 and 1998. In one experiment, 15 to 20 cultivars were planted on five dates (14 May, 4 June, 25 June, 16 July, and 4 Aug.) and received no pinching, one manual pinch 2 weeks after potting, or two manual pinches 2 and 4 weeks after potting. In another experiment, four cultivars were planted at the five dates. Pinch treatments were control, one manual pinch, two manual pinches, one Florel spray at 500 mg·L–1, or two Florel sprays at the same time as the manual pinches but on separate plants. Data were collected for days to first color, first open flower, 10 open flowers, and full bloom. Height and width were measured at 10 open blooms. Although the 1998 season was warmer and caused heat delay, the flowering data followed the same trends as the 1997 experiments. Pinching delayed flowering for the early plant dates. Pinching did not affect plant height or plant width. Planting date affected days to 10 blooms for most early season varieties but not late-season varieties. Planting early produced larger plants and more uneven flowering and resulted in greater heat delay of heat-sensitive varieties. Florel delayed flowering and increased plant size. We concluded that pinching was not required to produce high-quality garden mums of many new cultivars.
Axillary buds of African violet develop vegetative shoots or reproductive inflorescences. Vegetative axillary development results in a multiple-shoot plant and reduces plant quality. We determined the effect of temperature and plantlet size on axillary bud development. Plantlets were removed from leaf cuttings, graded according to stem diameter, directly stuck into pots 10 cm in diameter, and placed in greenhouses at 18, 22, or 26C. Vegetative development was related to temperature, plantlet size, and nodal position. The number of vegetative axillary shoots per plant decreased from 3.7 to 1.3; that of leaves per vegetative axillary shoot decreased from 10.3 to 4.8 as temperature increased from 18 to 26C. The eight to 10 basipetal nodes developed vegetative shoots or were devoid of axillary development. The percentage of leaf axils in which inflorescences developed increased from 14 on node eight to 100 on nodes 12 and higher. The larger plantlets at the time of transplant had 20% fewer vegetative axillary shoots, whereas reproductive inflorescence development was not affected by plantlet size.
Stock plants of four vegetatively propagated annual species (Argyranthemum frutescens `Comet Pink', Nemesia fruticans `Plum Sachet' Venten., Osteospermum fruticosum `Zulu' L., and Verbena ×hybrida `Lanai Bright Pink' L.) were grown with one (P), two (PP), or three (PPP) pinches during the scaffold development phase. The number of pinches applied to all four species affected the yield and distribution of cuttings produced over time. P began to produce cuttings first; however, the rate (number of cuttings per week) of cutting production was relatively low resulting in the fewest total cuttings produced by the end of the experiment. Cutting harvest from PPP started 3 to 6 weeks after cuttings were initially harvested from P. However, the rate of increase in cutting production was greater in PPP than P for all species, except Osteospermum, so the total cutting yield of PPP equaled P after 3 to 5 weeks of cutting production. The final cutting yield for PPP was 38%, 38%, 20%, and 8% higher than P for Argyranthemum, Nemesia, Osteospermum, and Verbena, respectively. PP produced 24%, 17%, and 21% more total cuttings than P for Argyranthemum, Nemesia, and Osteospermum, respectively, while Verbena displayed no significant difference. At the termination of the experiment, the weekly rate of cutting production increased 66.3%, 84.0%, and 30.5% as pinch number increased from P to PPP for Argyranthemum, Nemesia, and Verbena, respectively. This study demonstrates that the number of pinches performed on stock plants during scaffold development can have a significant impact on the timing, the weekly production rate, and cumulative yield of cuttings harvested.
Quantum sensors were placed at plant canopy height inside and outside a glass greenhouse. Photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) was measured during September for a 3-hour period near sunrise and sunset, which were determined from US Naval Observatory Circular #171. Under clear skies, the PPF at the canopy exceeded 0.25 μmol·m-2·s-1 for nearly 20 minutes before sunrise through 20 minutes after sunset. Under heavy overcast, the duration was only 5 minutes before sunrise through 5 minutes after sunset. The PPF at the canopy reached 0.25 μmol·m-2·s-1 approximately 12 minutes later in the morning and 12 minutes earlier in the evening than it did outside the greenhouse. The length of the dark period perceived by plants in a greenhouse on September 21st (assuming plants perceive light at 0.25 μmol·m-2·s-1) can range from 11:37 (hr:min) during cloudy conditions to 11:15 during clear ones, a difference of 22 minutes. At 43°N latitude, the maximum difference in date of flower initiation because of an extended period of heavily overcast versus clear weather on a crop such as poinsettias would be one week since the night length during September increases by 3 minutes per day. The actual difference from year to year is probably less because a seven-day duration of heavily overcast weather is unlikely.