NZSM Online

Get TurboNote+ desktop sticky notes

Interclue makes your browsing smarter, faster, more informative

SciTech Daily Review

Webcentre Ltd: Web solutions, Smart software, Quality graphics

Quick Dips

Finding the Root Solution

Finding the Root Solution Figure A (33KB)

The National Climate Laboratory has solved the problem of providing for the differing temperature needs of roots and shoots.

The Climate Lab can recreate precise conditions from sub-Antarctic to tropical, but the controlled environment rooms couldn’t reproduce the differing soil and air temperatures found in the natural environment. Technician Harry Wiggins has developed a hydroponic temperature-controlled growing system that keeps the roots at one temperature inside a tank of nutritional liquid while the controlled environment room is set at another.

The system has already proven useful in research for the Vegetable Growers Federation on the conditions required for Pythium, a fungus affecting commercial tomato plots. Elly Nederhoff, above, checks on the work.

Temperature, carbon dioxide, day length and light intensity can be precisely regulated to see how each one affects a crop. The lab has been put to more off-beat uses: testing storage of newsprint reels and even as pre-Commonwealth Games acclimatisation training.