Special Issue "Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems"

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Michael Ben Timmons Website E-Mail
Biological and Environmental Engineering, Riley Robb Hall—111 Wing Drive, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Interests: controlled environment agriculture; recirculating aquaculture systems; entrepreneurship; renewable energy systems
Guest Editor
Dr. Neil Mattson Website E-Mail
School of Integrative Plant Science, 134A Plant Science Bldg, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
Interests: controlled environment agriculture; plant environmental physiology; hydroponics; plant mineral nutrition; supplemental lighting
Guest Editor
Dr. Steven G. Hall Website E-Mail
Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University, 210 Weaver Administration, Raleigh NC 27695, USA
Interests: aquacultural engineering; coastal bioengineering; biosystem automation and control; novel aquatic species and systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydroponics is a soilless culture of plants in nutrient solution that contains ions of all of the necessary elements for healthy plant growth. Major hydroponic production systems generally can be classified as nutrient film technique (NFT); deep-water culture (DWC) or raft; and soilless substrates/media beds such as rockwool and coconut slabs, hydroton beads, etc. Hydroponics is an increasingly important field due to its increased nutrient-, water-, and space-use efficiencies and is frequently used commercially in modified- and controlled- environment agriculture to produce high-nutrient-density crops (fruits and vegetables).

Aquaponics combines hydroponics and fish aquaculture. Aquaponic farming is quickly becoming a critical part of the local food production equation. Aquaponics is the combined culture of fish and plants in the same or connected systems, where un-assimilated nutrients in the fish feed provide the nutrients needed by the plants. We must learn to grow more food with less water and grow our food closer to the consumer if we want to create a more sustainable future. Although hydroponics and aquaponics have been practiced for centuries, we are still discovering new techniques and attaining a more complete understanding of how plants function in an aquatic environment and how we can optimize their performance, particularly from an environmental sustainability perspective.

In this Special Issue, we would like to explore new horizons on how to move the hydroponics and aquaponics industries into the future to provide nutritious diets to feed the additional 2.0 billion humans being added to our current population of 7.7 billion by 2050. We also need to understand how our current systems are working. We invite manuscripts that explore any aspect of this research topic, including new technologies and growing strategies, new aquaculture products such as seaweeds or other market driven products,  review papers, and traditional research papers.  Topics could include nutrient and physiological plant analyses and mass balances, to analyzing financial analysis of enterprise models, and everything in between. We look forward to receiving your manuscript.

Prof. Dr. Michael Ben Timmons
Dr. Neil Mattson
Dr. Steven G. Hall
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Horticulturae is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable
  • food security
  • systems design
  • plant physiology
  • water chemistry
  • mass balance

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Selection of Heat Tolerant Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Cultivars Grown in Deep Water Culture and Their Marketability
Horticulturae 2019, 5(3), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5030050 - 13 Jul 2019
Abstract
Lettuce is a cool season vegetable often produced in greenhouses and other protective structures to meet market demands. Greenhouses are being increasingly adopted in warm climate zones where excessive heat often leads to physiological disorders of lettuce, such as tipburn and premature bolting. [...] Read more.
Lettuce is a cool season vegetable often produced in greenhouses and other protective structures to meet market demands. Greenhouses are being increasingly adopted in warm climate zones where excessive heat often leads to physiological disorders of lettuce, such as tipburn and premature bolting. Greenhouse lettuce growers in warm climates need cultivar recommendations that can help improve production without ignoring marketability. In the current study, eighteen lettuce cultivars were grown in deep water culture and evaluated for growth, bolting, and tipburn in a greenhouse in Auburn, AL, starting on 30 June and 19 August 2016. Based on the severity of bolting and tipburn, nine cultivars were then selected and evaluated on 17 November 2016 for sensory attributes and marketability by 50 untrained consumer panelists. Cultivars ‘Adriana’, ‘Aerostar’, ‘Monte Carlo’, ‘Nevada’, ‘Parris Island’, ‘Salvius’, ‘Skyphos’, and ‘Sparx’ were selected as having higher heat tolerance than cultivars ‘Bambi’, ‘Buttercrunch’ ‘Coastal Star’, ‘Flashy Trout Back’, ‘Green Forest’, ‘Green Towers’, ‘Jericho’, ‘Magenta’, and ‘Truchas’. Higher crispness, lower bitterness, higher overall texture, and higher overall flavor each correlated to higher marketability, regardless of cultivar, but the strongest predictor of marketability was overall flavor. Overall flavor and overall texture were more strongly correlated to marketability than bitterness and crispness, respectively, suggesting that broader sensory categories may better capture human sensory perceptions of lettuce than narrower categories. Cultivars ‘Aerostar’, ‘Monte Carlo’, ‘Nevada’, ‘Parris Island’, ‘Rex’, ‘Salvius’, and ‘Sparx’ performed well in a hot greenhouse and were preferred by consumers. This step-wise experiment could be an adaptable tool for determining highest performing cultivars under any given production constraint, without ignoring marketability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Predictive Equations for Butterhead Lettuce (Lactuca Sativa, cv. Flandria) Root Surface Area Grown in Aquaponic Conditions
Horticulturae 2019, 5(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae5020039 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Aquaponic systems are becoming more prevalent and have led to accurate mass and energy balance models that allow nutrient utilization to be maximized and plant and fish systems to be coupled or complimentary. Such models still do not address the potential of using [...] Read more.
Aquaponic systems are becoming more prevalent and have led to accurate mass and energy balance models that allow nutrient utilization to be maximized and plant and fish systems to be coupled or complimentary. Such models still do not address the potential of using the plant side as both the primary nitrification system and as a sink for the nitrate being produced from the fish system. However, using the plants as the nitrification system for the fish waste requires a better understanding and quantification of the nitrification capacity of the plant system. A series of experiments were conducted using butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa, cv. Flandria) in deep water culture rafts. Plants were grown under two growing conditions and were evaluated based upon harvestable weight. Treatment 1 (H5) consisted of a standard hydroponic nutrient solution maintained at pH 5.8, while treatment 2 (A7) consisted of an aquaponic waste solution maintained at pH 7.0. The aquaponic conditions were created from a fish rearing system using koi (Cyprinus carpio) that was continuously recirculated between the designated plant tubs and the fish tank with an in-line bead filter to capture and mineralize fish solids. The total root surface area was not significantly different between treatments, but the ratio of root surface area to root fresh weight was different, suggesting that aquaponic roots are finer than hydroponic roots. Predictive equations were developed to correlate root surface area to shoot or root fresh weight, which can be used to design the nitrification component for a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), as part of an integrated aquaponic system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Knowledge of Hydroponic and Aquaponic Systems)
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