Effect of Particulates (Dust) on Cotton Growth, Photosynthesis, and Respiration1
- D. V. Armbrust2
Wind erosion suspends large quantities of dust in the atmosphere that settle back to the earth's surface and are deposited on plant leaves when wind velocities decrease. The object of this research was to determine the effect of wind-erodible size dust particles on upland cotton [Gossypium hirsutum (L.) ‘Dunn 120’] growth and physiology. Dust (< 0.106 mm) at concentrations of 0, 10.8, 15.2, 16.5, 22.1, 28.6, 38.5, and 51.1 µg m−2 was settled onto leaves of 22-day-old growth-chamber-grown cotton plants in a dust chamber. Net photosynthesis, dark respiration, dust concentration, leaf area, and dry weight were measured 1, 3, 7, and 14 days after dust was applied. Applied dust (> 15.2 µg m−2 ) resulted in reduced dry weight at 3, 7, and 14 days after application, but dry weight accumulation was not reduced by increasing dust concentration after day 3. The dry weight reduction was due to reduced photosynthesis, 1 and 3 days after dust application, and increased dark respiration, 1, 3, and 7 days after application when dust application rates exceeded 28.6 µg m−2. This study indicates that particulate deposits can alter cotton growth without physical damage to the plant and without toxic materials present in the dust. However, rapid removal of particulates by wind and rain and low natural deposition rates (1.5 µg m−2 day−1) indicate that dust deposits on leaves should not be a major problem in cotton production.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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