Sap Flow Meter

Measuring transpiration of small plants

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Continuous measurements of the water use, or transpiration, of small or herbaceous plants can be difficult. A small weighing lysimeter, also known as a balance or scale, can be used however these often require a researcher to manually read the LCD screen or to have the instrument connected to a PC or laptop. Data collection […]

Acoustic emissions & xylem cavitation

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Researchers are turning to the novel method of acoustic emissions to quantify drought stress and xylem cavitation in plants. Acoustic emissions (AE) sensors are extremely easy to install, highly robust and the results are statistically simple to analyse and interpret.   but what, exactly, are AE sensors? Acoustic emissions sensors and systems AE sensors have […]

flower transpiration

Flowers and transpiration

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Surprisingly little research has been dedicated to flower water relations. This is despite the vast amount of research on water relations at the whole-plant level, stomatal conductance at the leaf level, and even the water relations of fruits. Flowers have been largely neglected probably due to the difficulty of accurately measuring transpiration rates with a […]

Trees and Water Cycle

What’s going on with trees and water?

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Over the last few decades, scientists have turned Earth’s water cycle on its head. We now know that the flow of water between soils, plants and the atmosphere is far more complex than traditionally thought. How scientists discovered multidirectional water flow, also known as hydraulic redistribution, was a work of patience, tenacity and ingenuity. Hydraulic […]

Soil Moisture Sensor

Why your soil moisture measurements are not accurate

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Manufacturers of soil water content sensors supply their product with an output registering volumetric water content (VWC), typically expressed as a percentage. But where does this number come from and what does it actually mean? In all likelihood, the output value from the sensor will not be equal to the actual VWC of your particular […]

CO2 Flow Meter and Detector

5 reasons why CO2 levels are controlled at night

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Author: Michael Forster, PhD.   Growers can artificially increase the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) available to plants to improve growth and yield. Scientists call it “atmospheric fertilization” and growers have known for a long time that increasing CO2 can improve plant productivity. Adding additional CO2 around plants is similar to adding additional nitrogen […]

Soil Water Content Turf

5 common mistakes when measuring soil moisture

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Soil moisture, or soil volumetric water content, is easily measured with probes, sensors or handheld meters. These meters are as simple as pushing the probe or sensor into the soil, pressing read on the handheld meter, and you’re done. As simple as this appears, there are surprisingly many pitfalls and traps that can lead to wrong […]

Vineyard fluorescence

Cell death in grape berries

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The quality of your wine can be affected by cell death in grape berries. The affects are two-fold: 1) cell death leads to a higher concentration of sugar and alcohol levels because of water loss; and 2) a greater contribution to flavour. Scientists at the University of Adelaide are exploring physiological causes of cell death […]

how plants communicate

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can plants communicate with one another? This question is not as outrageous as it might at first seem. Certainly, plants are not like The Ents in the Lord of the Rings, coming to life and talking with one another. But scientists have amassed a large amount of evidence to suggest that plants do communicate with […]