Here's a pretty technical report of water efficiency in avocado - the amount of water it takes to make fruit. It looks like there might be some varieties that could produce more fruit with less water. It's a promising start to selecting a tree that could produce under the increasing drought conditions found in avocado growing areas.
Evaluation of leaf carbon isotopes and functional traits in avocado reveals water-use efficient cultivars
Plant water-use efficiency (WUE) describes the ratio of carbon gain to water loss during photosynthesis. It has been shown that WUE varies among crop genotypes, and crops with high WUE can increase agricultural production in the face of finite water supply. We used measures of leaf carbon isotopic composition to compare WUE among 24 cultivars of Persea americana Mill (avocado) to determine genotypic variability in WUE, identify potentially efficient cultivars, and to better understand how breeding for yield and fruit quality has affected WUE. To validate carbon isotope measurements, we also measured leaf photosynthetic gas exchange of water and carbon, and leaf and stem functional traits of cultivars with the highest and lowest carbon isotope composition to quantify actual WUE ranges during photosynthesis. Our results indicate large variation in WUE among cultivars and coordination among functional traits that structure trade-offs in water loss and carbon gain. Identifying cultivars of subtropical tree crops that are efficient in terms of water use is critical for maintaining a high level of food production under limited water supply. Plant functional traits, including carbon isotopes, appear to be an effective tool for identifying species or genotypes with particular carbon and water economies in managed ecosystems.
Read the article:
Let's celebrate National Pollinator Week. And what better time for the UC Davis Department of...
This is a Wilen repost: http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=27499
I recently attended a Santa Ana River - Orange County Weed Management Area (SAROCWMA) meeting and there was the opportunity for participants to update the group about new invasive plants as well as give an update on management of these and others. During the discussion, Ron Vanderhoff from the Orange County Native Plant Society (OC-CNPS), reported on new findings of a plant I never heard of. In fact, when they group was talking about it, I wasn't sure if I heard the name right.
The plant is called stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum), which to me sounds like a game played by 10 year olds. However, the OC-CNPS considers it an emerging invasive weed (http://www.occnps.org/PDF/HYS-Oncosiphon-piluliferum.pdf). On the California Invasive Plant Council's weedmapper, it was first reported in the Orange Co. in 2003 but was in San Diego Co. as early as 1998 and Riverside Co. in 1981. According to the USDA-NRCS plants database, it has a limited distribution in the U.S., being found only in Orange, Riverside, and San Diego Counties in California and Maricopa, Pinal, and Yavapai Counties in Arizona. However, Cal-Flora has unconfirmed sightings of it in San Bernardino, Imperial, and Kern Counties.
Stinknet or globe chamomile is a relatively small annual plant that could easily be confused with the turf and landscape weed pineappleweed http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/WEEDS/pineapple_weed.html until you smell it. Pineappleweed flowers have a pleasant sweet smell while, as you may guess from the name, stinknet has the opposite odor. It is most noticeable when flowering (March to July in S. California) so now is a good time to spot it.
All photos by and courtesy of Ron Vanderhoff
Although it is not listed as noxious weed, land managers should still be on the lookout for it especially in along the coast and inland. It can be particularly damaging to in coastal sage scrub where because of its tendency to fill in open spaces, it can reduce growth of other native annuals and impact animals that depend on the openings in these areas.
P.S. Stinkweed should be susceptible to standard weed management practices. Ben
Consider the lovestruck praying mantis. If you've ever watched a mating pair of mantids and seen...
According to the CalFlora website (http://www.calflora.org/), 21 species of amaranths occur (to...