Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Growth, gas exchange, foliar nitrogen content, and water use of subirrigated and overhead irrigated Populus tremuloides Michx. seedlings


Davis, Anthony S.; Aghai, Matthew M.; Pinto, Jeremiah R.; Apostal, Kent G. 2011. Growth, gas exchange, foliar nitrogen content, and water use of subirrigated and overhead irrigated Populus tremuloides Michx. seedlings. HortScience. 46(9): 1249-1253.

Because limitations on water used by container nurseries has become commonplace, nursery growers will have to improve irrigation management. Subirrigation systems may provide an alternative to overhead irrigation systems by mitigating groundwater pollution and excessive water consumption. Seedling growth, gas exchange, leaf nitrogen (N) content, and water use were compared between overhead irrigation and subirrigation systems used to produce trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) seedlings. After 3 months of nursery culture, subirrigation resulted in a 45% reduction in water use compared with overhead irrigation. At the end of the growing season, subirrigated seedlings had lower net photosynthetic assimilation, stomatal conductance (gS), and leaf area, indicating earlier leaf senescence. However, no significant differences were detected for biomass, leaf N content, height, root-collar diameter, or root volume. Thus, we suggest that subirrigation systems offer promising potential for aspen seedling production when compared with overhead irrigation given the added benefits of water conservation and reduced nutrient runoff. Continuing emphasis on refinement such as determining the plant water requirements based on growth and development as well as container configuration is needed so that the intended benefits of using subirrigation can be realized.

Keywords: irrigation management, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, electrical conductivity, seedling quality, trembling aspen, water conservation


About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.


Download Article
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_2011_davis_a002.pdf

PDF File Size: 195 K


Title: RMRS Other Publications: Growth, gas exchange, foliar nitrogen content, and water use of subirrigated and overhead irrigated Populus tremuloides Michx. seedlings
Electronic Publish Date: December 28, 2011
Last Update:
December 28, 2011

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us