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Spatial root distribution of plants growing in vertical media for use in living walls

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Background and Aims

For plants growing in living walls, the growth potential is correlated to the roots ability to utilize resources in all parts of the growing medium and thereby to the spatial root distribution. The aim of the study was to test how spatial root distribution was affected by growing medium, planting position and competition from other plants.

Methods

Five species (Campanula poscharskyana cv. ‘Stella’, Fragaria vesca cv. ‘Småland’, Geranium sanguineum cv. ‘Max Frei’, Sesleria heufleriana and Veronica officinalis cv. ‘Allgrün’) were grown in three growing media (coir and two of rockwool) in transparent boxes under greenhouse conditions. Root frequency was registered and the activity of individual root systems was studied via 15N uptake and plant dry weight was measured.

Results

Plants in coir had stronger root growth in all parts of the medium than plants in rockwool. Upwards root growth was limited for plants in the middle or lower parts of the medium and 15N measurements confirmed that only plants in the bottom of the box had active roots in the bottom of the medium. The species differed in root architecture and spatial root distribution.

Conclusions

The choice of growing medium, plant species and planting position is important for a living wall as it affects the spatial root growth of the plants.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftPlant and Soil
Vol/bind380
Udgave nummer1-2
Sider (fra-til)231-248
Antal sider18
ISSN0032-079X
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2014

ID: 129916110