Scientists, extensions specialists, and growers are seeking sustainable agricultural practices that are able to cope with these objectives in order to ensure global food security and minimize environmental damage. The use of mulching films and plant biostimulants in agriculture seems to be a valid solution for tackling these rising concerns. A greenhouse experiment was conducted in order to elucidate the morpho-physiological and nutritive characteristics of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in response to foliar application of a tropical plant extract (PE) biostimulant and the use of plastic mulches. Two biodegradable mulch treatments (Mater-Bi® 1 and Mater-Bi® 2) were compared to black polyethylene (LDPE) and bare soil. Biodegradable mulch film Mater-Bi® 1 produced a comparable marketable fresh yield to the commercial standard polyethylene (LDPE), whereas Mater-Bi® 2 exhibited the highest crop productivity. When averaged over biostimulant application, lettuce plants grown with biodegradable film Mater-Bi® 2 exhibited superior quality traits in terms of K, Ca, total ascorbic acid, and carotenoids content. The combination of film mulching (LDPE, Mater-Bi® 1 or Mater-Bi® 2) with the tropical plant extract biostimulant exhibited a positive and significant synergistic effect (+30%) on yield. The PE-biostimulant induced higher values of SPAD index and total chlorophyll content when compared to untreated greenhouse lettuce. The mineral content of leaf tissues was greater by 10% and 17% (for P and Ca, respectively) when compared to the untreated lettuce (no PE application). Nitrate content was significantly reduced by 23% in greenhouse lettuce plants receiving PE as compared to the untreated control. The positive effect of Mater-Bi® 2 film on the ascorbic acid content has also been highlighted when combined with the biostimulant application, where a major amplification of total ascorbic acid (+168%) was recorded in comparison to the untreated lettuce. Overall, our work can assist leafy vegetables growers in adopting good agricultural practices, such as biodegradable plastic mulches and vegetal-derived biostimulants, to improve the sustainability of greenhouse production.

Appraisal of biodegradable mulching films and vegetal-derived biostimulant application as eco-sustainable practices for enhancing lettuce crop performance and nutritive value

Cozzolino E.;Giordano M.;Fiorentino N.;Pannico A.;Di Mola I.;Mori M.;Colla G.;Rouphael Y.
2020

Abstract

Scientists, extensions specialists, and growers are seeking sustainable agricultural practices that are able to cope with these objectives in order to ensure global food security and minimize environmental damage. The use of mulching films and plant biostimulants in agriculture seems to be a valid solution for tackling these rising concerns. A greenhouse experiment was conducted in order to elucidate the morpho-physiological and nutritive characteristics of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in response to foliar application of a tropical plant extract (PE) biostimulant and the use of plastic mulches. Two biodegradable mulch treatments (Mater-Bi® 1 and Mater-Bi® 2) were compared to black polyethylene (LDPE) and bare soil. Biodegradable mulch film Mater-Bi® 1 produced a comparable marketable fresh yield to the commercial standard polyethylene (LDPE), whereas Mater-Bi® 2 exhibited the highest crop productivity. When averaged over biostimulant application, lettuce plants grown with biodegradable film Mater-Bi® 2 exhibited superior quality traits in terms of K, Ca, total ascorbic acid, and carotenoids content. The combination of film mulching (LDPE, Mater-Bi® 1 or Mater-Bi® 2) with the tropical plant extract biostimulant exhibited a positive and significant synergistic effect (+30%) on yield. The PE-biostimulant induced higher values of SPAD index and total chlorophyll content when compared to untreated greenhouse lettuce. The mineral content of leaf tissues was greater by 10% and 17% (for P and Ca, respectively) when compared to the untreated lettuce (no PE application). Nitrate content was significantly reduced by 23% in greenhouse lettuce plants receiving PE as compared to the untreated control. The positive effect of Mater-Bi® 2 film on the ascorbic acid content has also been highlighted when combined with the biostimulant application, where a major amplification of total ascorbic acid (+168%) was recorded in comparison to the untreated lettuce. Overall, our work can assist leafy vegetables growers in adopting good agricultural practices, such as biodegradable plastic mulches and vegetal-derived biostimulants, to improve the sustainability of greenhouse production.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/828396
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