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  • Author or Editor: P. Christopher Wilson x
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Interactive review exercises were developed as an online learning component of an existing native plant landscaping course. The instruments were designed with specific goals for students to 1) test their plant identification knowledge, 2) practice leaf terminology with specific plant examples, and 3) associate landscape performance with native ecosystem characteristics. The plant identification tool was developed within a spreadsheet application using formulas consisting of logic statements. This tool tests the students’ ability to identify plants and spell scientific and common names associated with high-resolution plant images. The leaf terminology tool was developed using a multimedia platform. It uses a drag-and-drop interface where students are asked to associate a specific leaf term (i.e., margin, apex, base, texture, arrangement) with a scanned image that best matches the taxonomic term. The ecosystem tool, also developed using a multimedia platform, uses digital images captured for each of Florida's major ecosystems in conjunction with sets of plant combinations and site characteristics. Students select the appropriate choices and submit their answers online, after which they receive immediate feedback. Students reported an improvement in plant recognition after they had access to these identification tools. These interactive learning tools not only benefit students enrolled in this specific course but can be adapted to a variety of online courses nationwide.

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The objective of these experiments was to determine if preemergence herbicides perform similarly across pine bark that was aged for varying lengths of time including 0, 4, 8, and 12 months after bark removal from harvested trees. Three preemergence herbicides were evaluated for three separate weed species, including 1) Cardamine flexuosa With. (bittercress) with isoxaben, 2) Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. (large crabgrass) with prodiamine, and 3) Oxalis stricta L. (woodsorrel) with dimethenamid-P. Leaching of herbicides through substrates was evaluated for prodiamine. Weed growth in the various substrates was variable, but few differences were detected in weed growth among the pine bark substrates evaluated. For isoxaben and prodiamine, weed control was similar among the pine bark substrates in most cases when label rates were applied. Although some differences were detected in prodiamine performance across different pine bark ages, a high level of control was achieved in all cases at rates well below manufacturer recommendations. Prodiamine leaching was minimal in all substrates. It would be recommended that growers test substrates for physical properties before use so that irrigation and other production inputs could be modified if needed. In most cases, growers should expect similar performance of preemergence herbicides regardless of pine bark substrate age.

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