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Plants Watering Plants -- Nagoya University Scientist Discovers a 'Bio-Sprinkler' Effect

Last modified March 31, 2009 09:31

Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced on August 26, 2008, that Katsuya Yano, an assistant professor of Nagoya University Graduate School, has discovered a "bio-sprinkler" effect while doing research as a part of NEDO's subsidized projects

Source: Japan for Sustainability

 

Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) announced on August 26, 2008, that Katsuya Yano, an assistant professor of Nagoya University Graduate School, has discovered a "bio-sprinkler" effect while doing research as a part of NEDO's subsidized projects.

 

The study confirmed there is a hydraulic lifting phenomenon, by which some deep-rooted plants, such as pigeon pea, take in water from lower soil layers through their roots during daylight and then drip that water on the upper drier layers at night when transpiration has stopped. Furthermore, the study proved that the water dripping into the upper soil layers was supplied to neighboring shallow-rooted crops such as maize. When this phenomenon is better understood and utilized, a "bio-sprinkler" -- the watering of surrounding plants by plants -- will be possible.

 

Conventional large-scale irrigation facilities are expensive and the high percentage of water lost through evaporation leads to wasted water resources, and consequently causes salt accumulation. This underground drip-like irrigation technology, which uses plant root systems, enables low-cost, high-efficiency irrigation, has a low load on the environment, and is expected to help avoid soil salinization.

 

So far, the study passed its validation phase, and a detailed explanation and casebook will be made available on NEDO's website.

 

- NEDO official website http://www.nedo.go.jp/english/index.html

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