Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-2435

Carbon Gain, Water Use and Nutrient Uptake Dynamics of Beet ( Beta vulgaris ) Grown in Controlled Environments 2004-01-2435

Due to its large proportion of edible biomass, beet (Beta vulgaris) has high potential as a candidate crop for bioregenerative life support systems. This paper summarizes data collected for beet under batch and staged stand culture in closed environment chambers. Full stand trials were conducted under the following conditions: 1000 μL L−1 atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, light intensities ranging from 400–600 μmol m−2 s−1 PAR with a 14 hour photoperiod, 73% ± 5% relative humidity, a 26/20 °C day/night temperature regime and a fixed planting density of 17.6 plants m−2. For batch planted stands, total edible yield was determined to be 28.3 g dry weight basis (dwb) with a 95% Confidence Interval (CI) of [24.7, 31.8] g plant−1 with a harvest index of 94%. Under similar conditions, yield for staged beet stands was 31.4 g dwb with a 95% CI of [24.54, 38.31] g plant−1. Water use efficiency under these same conditions was found to be 0.003 mol C mol−1 H2O. Relative nitrate, ammonium, phosphate and potassium uptake rate averaged 0.11. Data indicate that a square meter of beet in production would supply roughly 2% of the daily air revitalization requirement of a single crew member.


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