Show simple item record

WATER AND NUTRIENT DYNAMICS IN CONTAINER-NURSERY PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

dc.contributor.advisorLea-Cox, John Den_US
dc.contributor.authorRistvey, Andrew Georgeen_US
dc.date.accessioned2004-06-04T05:55:13Z
dc.date.available2004-06-04T05:55:13Z
dc.date.issued2004-04-30en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1903/1502
dc.description.abstractWater quality remains a predominant issue within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and nutrient loading continues to undermine the progressive recovery of this ecosystem. Until recently, the ornamental plant industry has had little information to develop better management practices to increase the efficiency of water and nutrient applications. This research used an integrated approach to examine container- production systems, to develop recommendations to increase nutrient uptake efficiency and reduce runoff. A 40-month field study examined the effects of various cultural practices on irrigation and nutrient uptake efficiencies. Under cyclic scheduling, drip irrigation applied 3 to 4.5 times less water than overhead irrigation and had significantly less runoff when plants were spaced at low densities. While drip irrigation is significantly more efficient, overhead irrigation is more practical and economically feasible for most small container-nursery stock. Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) was examined as an alternative to cyclic scheduling and when used with overhead irrigation, water applications were half that of cyclic irrigation scheduling. . This research simultaneously documented nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) dynamics by examining nutrient applications, uptake and leaching over the forty months. In most cases, N and P uptake efficiency and runoff was negatively affected by overhead irrigation, particularly when soluble nutrients were applied via fertigation and at low plant densities. Nitrogen and P efficiencies ranged between 10 and 30% and were dependent upon methods of irrigation and fertilization, plant density and water use. The use of both drip and TDR-scheduled overhead irrigation reduced nutrient runoff to half that of the overhead irrigation program Intensive spring nutrient uptake studies showed that N influences the total growth of Rhododendron (azalea) and P uptake is a function of P fertilization rate and growth, influenced by N rate. Moderate N rates maintained optimal growth, while total P was only required at 1/20 of this N rate. Periodicity in nutrient uptake suggests seasonal timing of fertilizers may increase N and P uptake efficiency. Novel management strategies in the area of irrigation, fertilization, and cultural practices should be adopted by the ornamental industry to improve upon low efficiencies and reduce nutrient pollution in our watersheds.en_US
dc.format.extent4311781 bytes
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.titleWATER AND NUTRIENT DYNAMICS IN CONTAINER-NURSERY PRODUCTION SYSTEMSen_US
dc.typeDissertationen_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtDigital Repository at the University of Marylanden_US
dc.relation.isAvailableAtUniversity of Maryland (College Park, Md.)en_US
dc.contributor.departmentPlant Science and Landscape Architecture (PSLA)en_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledAgriculture, Plant Cultureen_US
dc.subject.pqcontrolledAgriculture, Generalen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrollednitrogenen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledphosphorusen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolleduptake efficiencyen_US
dc.subject.pquncontrolledirrigationen_US


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record