Soil Science, Water and Nitrogen Management in Horticultural Production

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 4404

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MED—Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development, Departamento de Fitotecnia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Pólo da Mitra, Ap. 94, 7006-554 Évora, Portugal
Interests: vegetable crops; vegetable production systems; greenhouse and open-field systems; fertigation; root dynamics; salinity; organic fertilization and soilless cultivation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water and nitrogen management have a decisive impact on plant growth and the quality of horticultural crops and nitrate contamination of the waters. Thus, improving the sustainability of the water and nitrogen application to horticultural crops without compromising the yield is a priority and a challenge. In irrigated crops, the integrated management of the water quantity and quality (irrigation scheduling and methods, water-saving strategies, etc.) and nitrogen fertilization (inorganic and organic) (amount supply, form and ratio, method of application, etc.) may be the first step to increase water productivity and nitrogen use efficiency, contributing to reduce nitrogen fertilizer application, the levels of nitrate in irrigation water, and nitrate leaching. This Special Issue will examine recent advances in horticultural practices and strategies that integrate the soil, water, and nitrates that can contribute to increased water and nitrogen use efficiency and reduce nitrate leaching.

Prof. Dr. Rui Manuel Almeida Machado
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • water quality
  • nitrates
  • nitrogen form
  • nitrogen use efficiency
  • organic composts
  • fertigation
  • water productivity
  • evaporation-saving strategies
  • mulching

Published Papers (3 papers)

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15 pages, 6596 KiB  
Article
Effect of Dopamine on Growth, Some Biochemical Attributes, and the Yield of Crisphead Lettuce under Nitrogen Deficiency
by Saad Farouk, Mahmoud A. M. Abd El-Hady, Mohamed A. El-Sherpiny, Mohamed M. Hassan, Khalid H. Alamer, Sami Asir Al-Robai, Esmat F. Ali and Hemat A. El-Bauome
Horticulturae 2023, 9(8), 945; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9080945 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1269
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) represents the most important nutrient for plant growth and productivity, but extreme and ineffective usage of N fertilizer results in boosted plant production expenditures and environmental contamination. For the world’s sustainable food production and environmental profits, there has been increased research [...] Read more.
Nitrogen (N) represents the most important nutrient for plant growth and productivity, but extreme and ineffective usage of N fertilizer results in boosted plant production expenditures and environmental contamination. For the world’s sustainable food production and environmental profits, there has been increased research interest in reducing the use of N fertilization along with improving plant N deficiency (ND) tolerance. Dopamine (DA), a potential antioxidant, mediates several physio-biochemical processes in plants under normal or stressful conditions. However, their roles in increasing ND tolerance in crisphead lettuce are not well-documented. We investigate the role of DA concentration (0.50 and 100 µM) on the growth and yield of crisphead lettuce plants under ND. Under normal conditions (100% recommended N fertilizer dose), DA (50 and 100 μM) application significantly enhanced growth, chlorophyll concentration, N%, antioxidant enzymes activity, as well as yield and its components, decreased nitrate accumulation and oxidative biomarkers compared to untreated plants (0 μM DA). ND significantly decreased plant growth and yield attributes as well as evoked oxidative impairment and nitrate accumulation as compared to 100% recommended N fertilizer dose in the absence of DA. However, within ND conditions, the application of DA concentrations significantly mitigated ND-induced oxidative burst and improved plant growth, chlorophyll concentration, N%, nitrate concentration, peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, total soluble solid, vitamin C, dry matter %, and total sugars, over 0 μM DA treated plants. Current findings highlighted that exogenous application of 100 μM DA could reinforce the crisphead lettuce plant’s resilience to ND by minimizing reactive oxygen species accumulation and promoting enzymatic antioxidants alongside growth, yield, and quality improvement. The beneficial effects of DA in lessening ND’s drastic impacts on crisphead lettuce resulted from upregulating antioxidant enzyme activity, impairment of oxidative biomarkers, and maintaining chlorophyll levels. The current findings open pioneering prospects to reduce nitrogen fertilization by DA application without any drastic effect on plant productivity. But further research is needed to fully understand DA effects and their mechanisms in inducing ND tolerance in different plant species, including crisphead lettuce. Full article
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14 pages, 2759 KiB  
Article
Influence of Sheep’s Wool Vegetation Mats on the Plant Growth of Perennials
by Susanne Herfort, Kerstin Pflanz, Marina-Sandra Larsen, Thomas Mertschun and Heiner Grüneberg
Horticulturae 2023, 9(3), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9030384 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1830 | Correction
Abstract
Vegetation mats for horticulture and landscaping usually consist of coconut fibre and straw. They have hardly any available nutrients and serve only as a carrier material for plant growth. Water capacity is low. By incorporating raw sheep‘s wool, nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, [...] Read more.
Vegetation mats for horticulture and landscaping usually consist of coconut fibre and straw. They have hardly any available nutrients and serve only as a carrier material for plant growth. Water capacity is low. By incorporating raw sheep‘s wool, nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and sulphur can positively influence the nutrient content of the carrier material. Water storage and water holding capacity are increased by the wool. In this study, three different thick-layered vegetation mats with different proportions of sheep’s wool and coir fibres were developed for the pre-cultivation of perennials. The focus is on the evaluation of sheep’s wool as a carrier material compared to pure coconut fibre as well as the plant growth of the eight perennial species used (Achillea clypeolata ‘Moonshine’, Achnatherum calamagrostis ‘Algäu’, Anaphalis triplinervis, Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’, Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’, Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’, Coreopsis verticillata, Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosakönigin’). The vegetation mats with sheep’s wool (V1–V3) contained 192.6, 154.0, and 283.5 g nitrogen (N)/m2 and the coir mats (V4) contained 7.5 g N/m2. The water content ranged from 16.0 to 22.1 vol% for the sheep’s wool mats and 12.6 vol% for the coir mat at pF1 (is equal to matrix potential at −10 hPa). The air content ranged from 71.9 to 77.0 vol% for the sheep’s wool mat and 79.4 vol% for the coir mat at pF1. On all vegetation mats containing sheep’s wool, the overall impression of the perennials was better than in the control. Especially good were Asters. At the end of the trial, the assessment scores of Asters on the sheep’s wool mats were two scores higher than on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Prof. Anton Kippenberg’ achieved an average plant height between 35.8, 35.8, and 36.5 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 14.4 cm on the coir mat. Aster dumosus ‘Silberball’ yielded 41.3, 42.3, and 44 cm on the sheep’s wool mats and 26.7 cm on the coir mat. No significant differences regarding plant height between the different variants of sheep’s wool mats emerged. Therefore, these mats can be used as alternative planting concepts for landscaping. Full article
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2 pages, 154 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Herfort et al. Influence of Sheep’s Wool Vegetation Mats on the Plant Growth of Perennials. Horticulturae 2023, 9, 384
by Susanne Herfort, Kerstin Pflanz, Marina-Sandra Larsen, Thomas Mertschun and Heiner Grüneberg
Horticulturae 2023, 9(11), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9111166 - 25 Oct 2023
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Abstract
There was an error in the original publication [...] Full article
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