Navigation Links
Long-term study of orchard ground cover management systems
Date:2/26/2009

ITHACA, NY - Orchard floor and groundcover management is important to fruit growers, affecting the efficiency of orchard operations, fruit tree performance, and soil quality.

Herbicide-treated tree rows with mowed grass "drive lanes" are the most widely used orchard groundcover management systems (GMS) in North America and Europe; the system is widely considered to be the most efficient and least expensive GMS.

Due to increased concerns about the environmental impact of herbicides and mechanical soil tillage, alternative methods are being sought to suppress orchard weeds and maintain soil quality. In response to environmental concerns, scientists have tested different types of cover crops and mulches, particularly biomass, inorganic, and geotextile mulch. Although root systems play an important role in tree growth and development, little is known about differential GMS effects on orchard root growth and distribution.

Researchers Shengrui Yao (University of Minnesota) and Ian A. Merwin and Michael G. Brown (Cornell University) coauthored a study that compared apple root density and distribution, root turnover, and root lifespan of trees after 10 years under different GMS treatments. The study was published in the journal HortScience.

The experiment involved the use of two minirhizotrons, or root observation tubes, installed on both sides of one tree in three replicates for each GMS treatment. Roots were observed by camera at two or three weekly intervals during the growing seasons of 2002 and 2003, and from whole tree excavations in 2000.

Minirhizotrons were used to study root emergence, turnover, and depth distribution of apple rootstocks under four groundcover management systems: pre-emergence herbicide, post-emergence herbicide, mowed sod grass, and hardwood bark mulch. All systems had been maintained since 1992 in an orchard near Ithaca, New York. Tree growth, yield, nutrient uptake, retention and leaching, soil moisture content, and soil temperature data were collected annually throughout the study.

The researchers discovered substantial differences among the GMS treatments. For instance, tree growth and yield observations from 1992 to 2003 showed that the hardwood bark mulch and post-emergence herbicide treatments produced more tree growth and higher yields than other treatments during most years. The mowed sod grass treatment usually had the smallest trees and lowest yields. Pre-emergence treatment trees had more total roots and new roots than all other treatments, and trees in mowed sod grass plots had fewer total roots than others.

Explaining the impact of the study, Merwin observed; "This study provides information on the relationship between orchard GMS' and tree root demography and dynamics, about which little has been reported previously. GMS treatments affected root growth, turnover, and distribution at this orchard, and these differences were linked with long-term trends in tree growth and fruit production in this research."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Meth exposure in young adults leads to long-term behavioral consequences
2. Tropical crab invades Georgia oyster reefs -- but the long-term impact cant be predicted
3. Atomic bomb survivor, scientists mark 60 years of long-term radiation study
4. Novel mechanism for long-term learning identified by Carnegie Mellon researchers
5. Long-term use of mechanical ventilation contributes to the deterioration of human diaphragm muscle
6. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen in long-term resistance training increases muscle mass/strength
7. Forests long-term potential for carbon offsetting
8. New vaccine may give long-term defense against deadly bird flu and its variant forms
9. Cancer immunotherapy shows long-term promise in lung cancer
10. Study of marine snail leads to new insights into long-term memory
11. Dont count on long-term success in climate policy, warns paper in Decision Analysis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Long-term study of orchard ground cover management systems
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters ... two-day competition will focus on developing health and wellness ... Hack the Genome is the first ... tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid supply ... a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters both ... Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Netherlands and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. ... Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR) ... MMprofilerâ„¢ with SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with ... known as MUK nine . The University of ... which is partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal ... growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... research firm Parks Associates announced today that Tom Kerber ... Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, Arizona . ... how smart safety and security products impact the competitive landscape. ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main Purchase Driver ... "The residential security market has experienced continued growth, and the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: