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Growth and Tissue Elemental Composition Response of Butterhead Lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Flandria) to Hydroponic Conditions at Different pH and Alkalinity

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
KPMG Chile Verbenas 9090, Las Condes, Santiago de Chile 7591571, Chile
3
Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2017, 3(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae3030041
Received: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
Biomass and tissue elemental differences were quantified for lettuce grown in deep-water conventional hydroponic conditions at two pH and alkalinity conditions. Nutrient solutions were created using inorganic salts and either reverse osmosis (RO) water or municipal water with high alkalinity. Three treatments were evaluated: (a) nutrient solution created with reverse osmosis (RO) water and maintained at pH 5.8 (H5); (b) same as H5 but maintained at pH 7.0 (H7); and (c) nutrient solution created using municipal water and maintained at pH 7.0, referred to as HA7. Averaged across three trials, the HA7 and H7 treatments produced 26% less shoot fresh weight (FW) than the H5 treatment with an 18% reduction in dry weight (DW). The H5 treatment had the least biomass in root FW and DW. In tissue elemental analyses, both the pH 7.0 treatments showed lower concentrations than H5 in Cu, N, Mo, and Sr, and increased concentrations in Ba, Mg, Na, and Zn. There were no differences in Al, C, Ca, Fe, K, Mn, Ni, P, S, and Si concentrations among treatments (p = 0.05). The results from this experiment can be used to isolate the effects of pH and alkalinity in aquaponic conditions where pH and alkalinity will mimic HA7 conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroponics; aquaponics; pH; biomass; nutrient analysis; lettuce; tissue analysis; elemental composition hydroponics; aquaponics; pH; biomass; nutrient analysis; lettuce; tissue analysis; elemental composition
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Anderson, T.S.; Martini, M.R.; De Villiers, D.; Timmons, M.B. Growth and Tissue Elemental Composition Response of Butterhead Lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Flandria) to Hydroponic Conditions at Different pH and Alkalinity. Horticulturae 2017, 3, 41.

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