Root Laboratory

Sensor clipped on a pine tree plant.

The platform consists of four walk-in growth rooms of 10m2 each, and six growing containers in each growth room. The height is almost five meters, and thus also small trees can be studied. The soil temperature and moisture in the growing containers can be controlled independently from those of the air, and light conditions and photoperiod can be controlled, as well. The plant annual cycle can be accelerated and typically, 2.5 growing seasons can be conducted within one calendar year. Soil conditions are recorded at three depths and a water table can be maintained in the growing containers. 

Plant measurements include a large variety of both shoot and root morphological, anatomical, physiological, and phenological parameters. One special feature is a minirhizotron camera for assessing environmental effects on root traits. The platform has been used mostly for studying plants in extreme environmental conditions and under stress conditions, in particular responses of boreal forest trees to soil frost or water-logged soil conditions.