Latest Reports and Publications

Species-specific fertilization can benefit container nursery crop production
April, 2015

Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Published March 2015.
The article is available here to individuals with subscription.

Abstract
Clark, M. J. and Zheng, Y. 2015. Species-specific fertilization can benefit container nursery crop production. Can. J. Plant Sci. 95: 251–262. To determine the responses of six container-grown shrub species to different controlled-release fertilizer (CRF) application rates, plant growth and root-zone traits were evaluated following fertilization with Polyon® 16–6–13, 5–6 month CRF incorporated at 0.60, 0.89, 1.19, 1.49 and 1.79 kg m−3 N. The six species tested at a southwestern Ontario, Canada, nursery were Cornus stolonifera ‘Flaviramea’ (yellow-twig dogwood), Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ (dwarf winged euonymus), Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ (Pee Gee hydrangea), Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Nugget’ (Nugget ninebark), Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’ (Magic Carpet spirea), Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’ (Wine and Roses weigela). Different species responded differently to the CRF rates applied. For the majority of species at the final harvest, growth index, plant height, canopy area, leaf area and above-ground dry weight were greater in high vs. low CRF rates; however, different species had different optimal CRF application rates or ranges: 1.49 kg m−3 N for Hydrangea and Spiraea, 1.19 kg m−3 N for Weigela, 1.19 to 1.49 kg m−3 N for Cornus and Physocarpus, and ≤0.60 kg m−3 N for Euonymus. Based on these species-specific optimal fertilizer rates or ranges, growers can group plant species with similar fertilizer demands, thereby reducing fertilizer waste and maximizing plant production.

April, 2015

Food Quality and Preference, 2015, In Press
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: A. Grygorczyk, S. Mhlanga, I. Lesschaeve. Color is often found to be the most important factor driving consumer purchase decisions for flowers. However due to the sheer number of flower color options available, pinpointing which flower shades to aim for in a breeding program is a complex task. Discussions with local growers revealed discrepancies between color preferences previously identified and actual consumer demand. The present work examines this in further detail by applying two methods of testing consumer flower color preference with the same panel of consumers: conjoint analysis using color categories and a follow-up question asking consumers to pick their 3 most preferred colors from a chart of 60 colors. Consumers were found to have different tolerance ranges for shades across color categories. Consumers have a wide range of tolerance for red colors, making this a safe target as nearly all shades of red tested were well liked by consumers. By contrast, in the yellow category there was one very high performing shade, with consumer preference dropping off sharply with any deviation from this shade. While this particular shade of yellow could potentially be highly successful with consumers, it is a riskier target as breeders would have a narrow range of tolerance in shade variation to achieve consumer success. This study presents a new understanding of consumer preference as it suggests that consumers exhibit not only preference intensity for sensory stimuli, but also a tolerance range for variations on the stimulus. Interestingly, tolerance ranges are not consistent across categories of sensory stimuli (e.g. color categories).

April, 2015

Experimental and Applied Acarology, 2015, 65 (4): 451-464.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Rosemarije Buitenhuis, Graeme Murphy, Les Shipp and Cynthia Scott-Dupree. The predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot is a biological control agent that has the potential to play an important role in pest management in many greenhouse crops. Most research on this predatory mite has focused on its use and efficacy in greenhouse vegetables. However, an increasing number of growers of greenhouse ornamental crops also want to adopt biological control as their primary pest management strategy and find that biological control programs developed for vegetables are not optimized for use on floricultural plants. This paper reviews the use of A. swirskii in greenhouse crops, where possible highlighting the specific challenges and characteristics of ornamentals. The effects of different factors within the production system are described from the insect/mite and plant level up to the production level, including growing practices and environmental conditions. Finally, the use of A. swirskii within an integrated pest management system is discussed.

April, 2015

Experimental and Applied Acarology, 2015, 65 (4): 435-450.
The article is available here at a cost

Abstract: Laura C. Hewitt, Les Schipp, Rose Buitenhuis, Cynthia Scott-Dupree. The influence of seasonal greenhouse climate on the efficacy of predatory mites for thrips control was determined for potted chrysanthemum. Trials in controlled environment chambers, small-scale greenhouses and commercial greenhouses were conducted to determine which biological control agent—that is, Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot or Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans)—is more efficacious for control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), in different seasons. Under simulated summer conditions, no differences were observed in the predation and oviposition rates of both predatory mites in the laboratory trials. However, small-scale greenhouse trials showed that A. swirskii performed better than N. cucumeris in summer (i.e., more efficacious thrips control, higher predator abundance and less overall damage to the crop). Under simulated winter conditions, laboratory trials demonstrated variable differences in predation rates of the two predatory mites. The small-scale greenhouse trials in winter showed no differences in thrips control and predatory mite abundance between the two predatory mites, but plants with A. swirskii had less damage overall. The results from the small-scale trials were validated and confirmed in commercial greenhouse trials. Overall, A. swirskii performed better in the summer and equally good or better (less damage overall) under winter conditions, whereas N. cucumeris is a more cost effective biological control agent for winter months.

Growing Forward 2 annual report 2014-2015
March, 2015

Features

  • Performance measures 2014-15
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Applied research and innovation activities
  • Knowledge transfer, outreach and communications
  • Commercialization

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