Using greenhouse to simulate urban conditions for plants experimentations

E. Chantoiseau, P.E. Bournet, S. Sakr, F. Rodriguez, P. Cannavo, L. Huché-Thelier
The ecosystem services provided by urban plants strongly depend on the plants' well-being. Indeed, environmental factors such as soil compaction, shading and irrigation can affect plant physiology, growth, and aspect. Plants in cities are often living in stress-inducing environments characterized by unfavorable and fluctuating aerial and subterranean conditions. Proposing plant species models adapted to such conditions requires the understanding of plant development, depending on these abiotic environmental factors. However, experimentations in urban conditions are difficult as locations are constrained, plants and sensors are exposed to degradation and the climatic conditions could not be controlled. In order to characterize the environment impact on plants, a southward greenhouse compartment was used to mimic urban environment. Roses (Rosa hybrida 'Radrazz') were grown in stone-topsoil mixture representative of urban soil, drip irrigation was used to control water inputs, and shading screens were placed to mimic building shading due to the sun path course. The experiment took place during 12 weeks between April and August 2017 in northwestern France with several treatments varying according to water inputs, plant shading, and soil density. Climatic measurements showed that the climate in the greenhouse compartment was close to the urban climate measured by ONEVU in Nantes during hot springs. Analysis of the plant morphology and physiology showed that, in our experimental conditions, hydric restriction was the primary factor impacting the plant growth, followed by shading, whereas the soil density had a limited influence.
Chantoiseau, E., Bournet, P.E., Sakr, S., Rodriguez, F., Cannavo, P. and Huché-Thelier, L. (2020). Using greenhouse to simulate urban conditions for plants experimentations. Acta Hortic. 1279, 139-146
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1279.21
rosebush, water restriction, shading, flowering, transpiration, urban climate

Acta Horticulturae