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  • Author or Editor: Li Li x
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Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] originated in China, and according to ancient Chinese literature, the culture of the peach (tao) in China dates back at least 3000 years. Shi Jing, the book of songs written about 1000 bc, describes pink peach blossoms on the twigs and peach trees with ripe fruit in the orchard (1). These records infer that the peach was cultivated by the time of Zhou Dynasty, 3000 years ago.

Open Access

Social media marketing has been widely adopted by florists with the use of the Facebook brand page. However, many florists fail to achieve their expected success in that realm because of not being fully conversant in posting on social media. To address this deficiency, this study aims to 1) develop a taxonomy of florists’ Facebook posts to clarify florists’ message strategies on Facebook brand page and 2) investigate the effect of posted messages and media formats on the marketing performance of florists’ Facebook brand pages by evaluating users’ engagement based on the number of likes, comments, and shares from users for each post. Using data derived from 1646 empirical Facebook posts initiated by florists, it was found that florists’ Facebook posts could be classified into four broad message types covering 12 categories. The statistical results for analysis of variance (ANOVA) and post hoc tests revealed that the posted message and media format had significant effects in terms of causing users to like, comment on, or share florists’ posts. Compared with other message categories, posts in the message categories of product information, gratitude to customers, and holiday greetings had more favorable effects in terms of causing users to like, comment on, or share florists’ posts. As for the effect of media format, it was the posts in the photo media format that attracted more likes, comments, and shares from users compared with those in other media formats. Florists who operate brand pages on Facebook can be guided by our research when making decisions regarding the post characteristics in message orientations and media formats for attracting favorable responses from users.

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A nondestructive method for the determination of chlorophyll index for the tea plant based on reflectance spectral characteristics was investigated. Spectral data were collected from 184 samples with a spectroradiometer in a field experiment. Multivariate analysis techniques, including partial least squares (PLS) and multiple linear regression (MLR), were used for developing calibration models for the determination of chlorophyll index of the tea plant. The best calibration model was achieved using the PLS technique with a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.95, a se of prediction of 3.40, and a bias of 1.9e−06. When the model was used for predicting the unknown samples, good performance was also obtained with r of 0.91, se of calibration of 4.77, and bias of 0.02. Sensitive wavelengths were selected through loading analysis of latent variables in the optimal PLS model, and the validity of these wavelengths was proved by MLR and statistical analysis. Three fingerprint wavelengths (488, 695, and 931 nm) were determined and could potentially be used for developing a simple, low-cost, and efficient instrument for the measurement of chlorophyll index. The results proved the feasibility of reflectance spectra for measurement of chlorophyll index of the tea plant.

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The stigmatic morphology of Chinese chestnut was studied with scanning electron microscopy. The stigma is typically needle-shaped with a small aperture ≈50 μm in diameter on the top. During late April and early May in Yunnan Province, China, stigma secretion begins and within 1 week, secretion increases quickly and completely covers the stigma aperture. In “high fruit load” trees, the stigma aperture appears larger than in “low fruit load” trees, which in turn have a larger aperture than “empty cupule” trees. Likewise, stigma secretion in female flowers on “high fruit load” trees was higher than “low fruit load” or “empty cupule” trees.

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Product behavior represents how consumers perceive and use a product. Its importance in predicting consumer buying behavior is well documented in marketing research. There are, however, no data available investigating the role of product behavior in the floral market. This study addressed this deficiency. Data were first analyzed using factor analysis to extract the principal determinants of product behavior in the floral market. As a result, six primary behavioral factors were identified and named as: “using flowers as daily essentials,” “perceived product value,” “negative attitude toward flowers,” “using flowers as gifts,” “eventbased usage,” and “experience in receiving flowers.” The effects of these extracted behavioral factors on consumer flower purchase frequency were then further investigated with multinomial logistic regression analysis. Analytical results revealed that behaviors “using flowers as daily essentials” and “using flowers as gifts” forced consumers to become heavy users in the floral market. Conversely, “negative attitude toward flowers” negatively affected the floral purchase frequency. Experimental results in this study also suggest that promoting a positive attitude toward flowers is essential in encouraging consumers to become flower users. The intended use of flower product purchase, whether for personal use or as gifts, was the main factor affecting the frequent purchasing of flowers.

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As social media penetration has reached more than half of the eligible populations for most of the countries in the world, many florists are thinking of ways of converting their social media fan base into a virtual brand community that can bring numerous benefits to the florists. As relevant topics are rarely investigated in the academic domain of floriculture, this study seeks to address this deficiency. The objectives of this study were 1) to examine the possibility of converting the florists’ social media fan base into a virtual brand community, and 2) to investigate the influence of users’ knowledge of and personal experience with the florist on the formation of the florists’ social media–based brand communities, as well as the subsequent influence on the florists’ brand equity. The statistical results of the descriptive statistical analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) indicate that the florists’ social media fan base has revealed the markers of brand communities, demonstrating the potential that exists for building the florists’ virtual brand communities from their social media fan base. These statistical results also show that the users’ knowledge of the florist is one of the key elements assisting in the conversion of the florist’s fan base into a virtual brand community for the florist, and subsequently enhances the users’ commitment toward the florist’s brand. Even though the influence of the users’ personal experience with the florist on the formation of the florist’s social media–based brand community is not proved, it is found to be highly correlated with the users’ knowledge of the florist. Based on the study’s findings, strategies for driving the formation of florists’ social media–based brand communities are also provided.

Open Access
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Buying flowers for personal use and for gifts comprises a significant share of the retail flower market. However, data regarding flower purchasing behavior for self use and for gift use are very limited. This study applies a consumer decision process approach to identify behavioral differences in prepurchase behavior of flower purchasing between consumers who mainly purchase flowers for personal use and those who purchase them as gifts. Four hundred ninety-two valid surveys were obtained via purposive sampling, with data collected via a self-administered questionnaire. The statistical results of a stepwise discriminant analysis and t test substantiate that when making flower purchases, self users and gift users exhibit different behavioral patterns in prepurchase behavior with regard to information search, prepurchase evaluation of alternatives, retail channel choice, and store choice. It is clear that self users and gift users are two distinct market segments, and the implication is that for greater marketing efficiency, marketing strategies need to be realigned accordingly.

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Temperature is one of the main factors that affects the growth pattern of Gerbera hybrida, which shows vast variation in morphology and stress adaptation among cultivars. However, little is known about temperature responses of plant growth among different cultivars. In this study, four cultivars were planted in different growth temperatures to investigate the effect of temperature on plant growth of Gerbera hybrida during their vegetative growth. Results showed that the optimum growth temperature of the four cultivars was 20 °C, of which plant height, root length, biomass accumulation, leaf area, and photosynthetic rate were enhanced significantly. Different cultivars showed diverse temperature adaptation ranges, which were related with their genetic background, and the temperature adaptability of cultivar Autumn was the best among the four cultivars. Temperature also had significant effects on photosynthetic rate, which was the main factor shaping plant growth. Our research provides the basic guidance for the growth temperature control in the cultivation of Gerbera hybrida.

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Abstract

An international seminar on Plant Cold Hardiness was held at the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota on November 2-4, 1977. This meeting was jointly sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science under the auspices of the U.S.—Japan Cooperative Science Program as well as the College of Agriculture, University of Minnesota. Seventy scientists representing 13 states and Washington, D.C., Canada, Colombia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway and Poland attended the meeting, which was held to review current research, to discuss research priorities, to foster collaborative projects, and to consider how recent research findings might be applied to increasing food production.

The seminar focused on the fundamental biological processes of freezing survival in plants. Six consecutive sessions dealt with freezing stress, membranes, cold acclimation, supercooling, plant survival/breeding for cold resistance, and cryopreservation/cryoprotection. The subject matter encompassed horticultural and agronomic food crops, and forest species. Specific information can be obtained from the list of participants cited

Open Access
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‘Matou’ wentan (pummelo) is usually seedless in Taiwan. However, about 8% of the fruits on the market are seedy. In controlled pollination tests, ‘Matou’ was self-incompatible and highly parthenocarpic. Seedy fruits in commercial orchards are apparently from pollination by trees of other cultivars such as ‘Liucheng’ (C. sinensis Osb.), ‘Ponkan’ (C. ponkan Tan.), and especially ‘Paiyu’ and ‘Hwungyu’ (C grandis). Seedy fruits of ‘Matou’ wentan could be prevented by excluding other citrus cultivars from the orchard.

Open Access