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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Artificial environments for plant research Gibson, Jonathan Stephen


A review was made of environmental technology as applied to the engineering and construction of artificial environments for plant physiology research. The results of this study were utilized in the development of an artificial environment which incorporated the nutrient mist technique of growing plants. The quality of the environment in plant growth chambers is partly dependent on the type of control instruments used. Solid state electronic control devices offer many advantages, particularly with respect to accuracy, responsiveness, reliability and remote control. A travelling sensor was developed to detect the environmental conditions within artificial environments by remote control. This sensor greatly increased the rapidity and convenience of measurement with minimum disturbance of the environment. The conditions of light intensity, temperature, wind speed and humidity within a commercial growth chamber, the Percival Model PGC-78, were analysed. The results indicated that the chamber's performance was quite nonuniform for all the variables tested. The manufacturer's specifications for the chamber were considered to be limited in extent and to some degree misleading. The design of the artificial environment system constructed for this project is described. With this system, temperature control of ±½°C was achieved within the plant growth area. In addition, the uniformity of light intensity and air flow in the constructed chambers was superior to the PGC-78.

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