Photosynthetically active radiation in strawberry produced in stair-like containers
ABSTRACT In intensive hydroponic systems, such vertical and pyramidal systems, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and integrated (IPAR) may be intercepted by the containers and the leaf area of the plants grown in the upper strata, decreasing fruit yields and quality. The objective of this study was to evaluate the behavior of PAR and IPAR at different planting heights and the effect of geographic orientation and fruit yield and quality of strawberry produced in stair-like containers. The factors were four heights of the container (0.20, 0.50, 0.80 and 1.10 m) and two orientations (east and west). At each height and orientation of the container, PAR and IPAR, yield and fruit total soluble solids were measured. PAR and IPAR were statistically different at all heights evaluated and were highest in the highest containers. The east and west orientation of the containers was significantly different in the morning and in the afternoon for PAR and IPAR, while daily average values were equal. Yield on average was 47% higher in plants cultivated in containers at heights of 0.50, 0.80 and 1.10 m, relative to those in 0.20 m high containers. Fruits grown in the highest containers had higher values of total soluble solids.