Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
be absorbed and held tightly within the cells 17 . So despite the normally increased rate of
respiration, water that's already present within the plant's cells will be well-contained, and
will not readily exit the plant 18 .
Taking this little nugget of knowledge into the realm of real-life field applications, it has
beenshownina2009study[^FootDrought1]thatelectricity haspositivebenefitsregarding
the drought resistance of seeds. In the study, buckwheat seeds placed under a static electric
field experienced an increase in enzymatic activity, which has been known to protect
cells against osmotic stress. [^FootDrought1]: (Hua,JunLin,2009) and Paper on Electrical
Drought Resistance of Carageenan and (Weisheng, 1999)
Electro-horticultural methods can thus be used to help plants better tolerate droughts.
For example, on a divided field of French beans under identical conditions except for
electrification, the electrified plot was found to have substantially resisted the dry weather!
Regular, uniform growth was observed, resulting in a 300 percent gain in yield compared
to the control plot whose beanstalks became completely yellow 19 .
In another example 20 , electrified passion fruit vines were found to do twice as well
On top of the increase in yield that was realized, the fruit tended to be larger as well. If
water leaked out, as it would under normal conditions, fruit drop or shriveling would have
Lastly,it'sworthnotingasecondaryreasonwhyelectro-horticulture mayhelpplantsbetter
survive droughts - via the way that nutrients are transported underground. Under normal
conditions, rainwater acts to help decompose more complex organic materials found in
soils. Yet via in-situ electrolysis reactions, complex nutrients can still be broken down into
more usable forms.
Furthermore, these nutrients, both simple and complex, can be easily transported
underground using electrokinetic transport. In this way, nutrients beneath the soil can be
moved by the influence of the applied electric field, helping plants in dry soils receive the
nutrients they need 21 despite a lack of water being available to help with nutrient transport.
Based on these studies, electro-horticulture has gained a whole new application! If crops
can be grown in a way such that they can avoid the problems of drought, then in this time
of global climate change, this method of growing can be of enormous value to farmers
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