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:5/24/2016)... facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging ... product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo ... ... ... News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: