Mode of action and use of plant growth retardants in reducing the effects of environmental stress on horticultural crops

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Abstract

Transient environmental stress can have a significant effect on the yield and quality of horticultural crops. In addition, the geographical range suitable for commercial crop production may be limited by an almost predictable seasonal occurrence of temperature or water stress at critical stages in crop development. For example, in fruit production in a temperate zone, flowering often begins prior to the average last frost date, and pollination and fruit set in grain crops often occurs during periods of consistently low rainfall. Moreover, vegetable transplants, targeted for the early market, frequently suffer from water stress as a result of root injury during planting, and chilling injury associated with an early planting date.