The Effect of Diffuse Light on Crops
ABSTRACT Light is not evenly distributed in Dutch glass greenhouses, but this can be improved with diffuse light. Modern greenhouse coverings are able to transform most of the light entering the greenhouse into diffuse light. Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture has studied the effect of diffuse light on crops for several years. Modelling and experimental studies showed that crops such as fruit vegetables with a high plant canopy as well as ornamentals with a small plant canopy can utilize diffuse light better than direct light. Diffuse light penetrates the middle layers of a high-grown crop and results in a better horizontal light distribution in the greenhouse. Diffuse light is absorbed to a better degree by the middle leaf layers of cucumber, resulting in a higher photosynthesis. The actual photosynthesis of four pot plant species was found to be increased and crop temperatures were lower during high irradiation. The yield of cucumbers was increased, and the growth rate of several potted plants was increased. These investigations have resulted in a quantitative foundation for the potentials of diffuse light in Dutch horticultural greenhouses and the selection and verification of technological methods to convert direct sunlight into diffuse light.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In determining vase life (VL), it is often not considered that the measured VL in a particular experiment may greatly depend on both the preharvest and evaluation environmental conditions. This makes the comparison between studies difficult and may lead to erroneous interpretation of results. In this review, we critically discuss the effect of the growth environment on the VL of cut roses. This effect is mainly related to changes in stomatal responsiveness, regulating water loss, whereas cut flower carbohydrate status appears less critical. When comparing cultivars, postharvest water loss and VL often show no correlation, indicating that components such as variation in the tissue resistance to cavitate and/or collapse at low water potential play an important role in the incidence of water stress symptoms. The effect of the growth environment on these components remains unknown. Botrytis cinerea sporulation and infection, as well as cut rose susceptibility to the pathogen are also affected by the growth environment, with the latter being largely unexplored. A huge variability in the choices made with respect to the experimental setup (harvest/conditioning methods, test room conditions and VL terminating symptoms) is reported. We highlight that these decisions, though frequently overlooked, influence the outcome of the study. Specifications for each of these factors are proposed as necessary to achieve a common VL protocol. Documentation of both preharvest conditions and a number of postharvest factors, including the test room conditions, is recommended not only for assisting comparisons between studies, but also to identify factors with major effects on VL.Postharvest Biology and Technology 04/2013; · 2.45 Impact Factor