Submitted to: Scientia Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 26, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Reproduction in strawberry is generally accomplished asexually by the production of horizontal stems (stolons) from the parent plant that can support new daughter plants. Plants may produce stolons to "forage" for suitable sites to ensure adequate nutrition, for example, by shortening stolon lengths and producing greater number of daughter plants on nutrient- -rich sites. Stolon length and number of daughter plants produced by strawberry plants are important to strawberry plant growers, particularly in the production of plug plants. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the foraging response of different genetic lines of strawberry plants (Fragaria chiloensis L.) to different nitrogen concentrations. It was discovered that foraging occurred in strawberry but stolon growth was responsive to nitrogen only in some genetic lines. As nitrogen concentration increased, daughter plant density increased and stolon length hdecreased in strawberry plants with numerous, short stolons but not in those with few, long stolons. Growers may be able to modify stolon and daughter plant growth in some genetic lines of strawberry by adjusting nitrogen concentration.
Technical Abstract: Plant foraging response is a process in which clonal plants proliferate in nutrient-rich sites by shortening stolon length and increasing rament density. Conversely, stolon length increases and ramet density decreases in nutrient-poor sites. Four genotypes of common strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis (L)(Duch.) were grown in a greenhouse for 10 weeks and treated with different concentrations of nitrogen. Genotypes differed in plant size, stolon and ramet production, and nitrogen distribution between parent and ramets. Genotype Q18 were the smallest plants with the greatest number of stolons and ramets, typical of the phalanx morphology. The other genotypes had fewer but longer stolons, typical of the guerilla morphology. Number of stolons and ramet density increased with increased N more in Genotype Q18 than the other genotypes. Results indicate that vegetative growth changed in response to increasing N treatment of the parent plant by yshortening the average stolon length, increasing the number of stolons, an increasing the number of ramets while maintaining total stolon length. Foraging response characteristics were observed in strawberry but varied among genotpes.