|Authors: ||M.Y. Kabir, J.C. Díaz-Pérez, S.U. Nambeesan|
|Keywords: ||photosynthesis, sunscald, water potential, plasticulture, heat stress|
An experiment was conducted with bell pepper 'Bayonet' in the spring of 2016 at the Horticulture Farm, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA, to evaluate the effect of shade level on plant growth, physiology, and fruit yield.
Seedlings were transplanted to the field in March and shade nets placed in May.
Plants were grown under five shade levels (0 (open field), 30, 47, 63, and 80%), and established in randomized block design.
Shade level resulted in taller plants with larger but thinner leaves.
Soil water content (%) and leaf water potential (MPa) increased and photosynthetically active radiation (μmol m‑2 s‑1) decreased as the shade levels increased.
Increased net photosynthesis (μmol m‑2 s‑1) was observed at 30% shade level.
The 30% shade level resulted in marketable fruit yield being 132% higher compared to the open field primarily through the reduction in sunscald incidence.
Overall, the 30% shade level had improved soil and plant water status and leaf gas exchanges and increased bell pepper fruit yield compared to the open field.
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