Supplemental LED Lighting Improves Fruit Growth and Yield of Tomato Grown under the Sub-Optimal Lighting Condition of a Building Integrated Rooftop Greenhouse (i-RTG)
Appolloni, Elisa; Paucek, Ivan; Pennisi, Giuseppina; Stringari, Gaia; Gabarrell Durany, Xavier; Orsini, Francesco; Gianquinto, Giorgio
OPEN ACCESS at Horticulturae (2022), 8(9), 771 The metabolism of a building can be connected to a rooftop greenhouse, exchanging energy, water and CO2 flows, therefore reducing […]
OPEN ACCESS at Horticulturae (2022), 8(9), 771
The metabolism of a building can be connected to a rooftop greenhouse, exchanging energy, water and CO2 flows, therefore reducing emissions and recycling cultivation inputs. However, integrating a rooftop greenhouse onto a building requires the application of stringent safety codes (e.g., fire, seismic codes), to strengthen and secure the structure with safety elements such as thick steel pillars or fireproof covering materials. These elements can shade the vegetation or reduce solar radiation entering the rooftop greenhouse. Nevertheless, application of additional LED light can help to overcome this constraint. The present study evaluated supplemental LED light application in an integrated rooftop greenhouse (i-RTG) at the ICTA-UAB research institute, located in Barcelona (Spain), for tomato cultivation (Solanum lycopersicum cv. Siranzo). The experiment explored the effects of three LED lighting treatments and a control cultivated under natural light only (CK). Applied treatments, added to natural sunlight, were: red and blue (RB), red and blue + far-red (FR) for the whole day, and red and blue + far-red at the end-of-day (EOD), each for 16 h d−1 (8 a.m.–12 a.m.) with an intensity of 170 µmol m−2 s−1. The results indicate that LED light increased the overall yield by 17% compared with CK plants. In particular, CK tomatoes were 9.3% lighter and 7.2% fewer as compared with tomatoes grown under LED treatments. Fruit ripening was also affected, with an increase of 35% red proximal fruit in LED-treated plants. In conclusion, LED light seems to positively affect the development and growth of tomatoes in building integrated agriculture in the Mediterranean area.