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Influence of field bed position, ground surface color, mycorrhizal fungi, and high root-zone temperature in woody plant container production

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High root-zone temperatures can stress plants and reduce nursery productivity of container produced crops. Field studies were conducted to study position of containers in field beds, ground surface color, mycorrhizal fungi and high root-zone temperatures in the production of selected woody plants. Root-zone temperature profiles in containers were established to determine nursery production conditions for white and black ground bed surfaces. White surfaces increased container medium temperatures in beds of plants with open canopies by 2–4°C compared to full canopied plants. Under field conditions with container medium temperatures as high as 40–50°C, the open canopiedBerberis thunbergii DC. ‘Atropurpurea’,Pinus eldarica Medw. andBuxus microphylla Seibold and Zucc. were more susceptible to temeprature stress compared to the more close canopiedPittosporum tobira (Thunb.) Ait. ‘Wheeler's dwarf’. When compared to controls,P. tobira colonized with mycorrhizal fungi [Glomus etunicatus Baker and Gerd. andGlomus fasciculatum (Thax.sensu Gerd.) Gerd. and Trappe] had increased shoot growth in all bed areas except the western exposure, and increased root growth in western and eastern bed regions. Greatest root damage generally occurred in containers of colonized and noncolonizedB. thunbergii in southern and western bed exposures. Mycorrhizal colonization did not improve plant growth of the more high temperature susceptibleB. thunbergii.

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Newman, S.E., Davies, F.T. Influence of field bed position, ground surface color, mycorrhizal fungi, and high root-zone temperature in woody plant container production. Plant Soil 112, 29–35 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02181749

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Key words

  • Buxus microphylla
  • Berberis thunbergii ‘Atropurpurea’
  • Glomus fasciculatum
  • Glomus etunicatus
  • Pinus eldarica
  • Pittosporum tobira ‘Wheeler's dwarf’
  • root stress