Impact of drought and temperature on growth and leaf gas exchange of six bedding plant species under greenhouse conditions Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect of drought on the growth and gas exchange of six bedding plant species - agastache [Agastache urticifolia (Benth.) O. Kuntze 'Honeybee Blue'], dusty miller (Cineraria maritima L. 'Silverdusty'), petunia (Petunia xhybrida 'Wave Purple'), plumbago (Plumbago auriculata Lam. 'Escapade'), ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum L. 'Black Pearl'), and vinca [Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don 'Titan'] - was quantified under greenhouse conditions. Seeds were sown in January and seedlings were grown in the greenhouse until 18 Apr., when two irrigation treatments - drought (D, 18% volumetric moisture content at reirrigation) and control (C, 25% volumetric moisture content at reirrigation) - were initiated. Leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), and transpiration (E) were determined in response to a range of substrate moisture content (from 5% to 30% by volume) and temperature (from 20C to 40C). Dry weight of agastache, ornamental pepper, and vinca was unaffected by drought, whereas that of other species was reduced. Leaf area of plumbago and height of plumbago and vinca were reduced by drought. As substrate moisture content decreased from 25% to 10%, Pn, E, and gs decreased linearly in all species except petunia and plumbago. Leaf net photosynthetic rate of all species declined as leaf temperature increased from 20C to 40C. In contrast, E of all species, except petunia, increased as temperature increased. Transpiration rate of petunia increased as temperature increased from 20C to 30C, and then decreased between 30C and 40C. Although petunia had the highest Pn among the tested species, its Pn and gs declined more rapidly compared with the other species as temperature increased from 20C to 40C or as substrate moisture content decreased, indicating that petunia was most sensitive to high temperature and drought.

published proceedings

  • HortScience

author list (cited authors)

  • Niu, G., Rodriguez, D. S., & Wang, Y. T.

complete list of authors

  • Niu, G||Rodriguez, DS||Wang, YT

publication date

  • October 2006