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Wireless nodes collect plant and climate data and forward them to a base station.
Here the data is sent to the Phytosense cloud service via the 4G network to be processed and presented readable.

Typical measurements

Typical daily measurements

In the morning, transpiration increases. At that time, the roots cannot supply enough water and the plant uses its internal water reserves from the stem to meet transpirational demand. As a result, the stem diameter shrinks.

At the end of the day , transpiration decreases, and the plant is able to refill its internal reserves. This causes the stem diameter to increase again.
During the night a positive pressure in the stem cells allows the plant to grow.

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Long term measurments

Long term diameter variations show a rapid growth at the start of the growing season, followed by a more modest growth near the end of the growing season.
Greenhouse climate and crop load contribute to growth slow downs and increases.
Long term daily sap flow follows the seasonal radiation pattern.

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Verband Veg/Gen groei

Diameter variation measurements can be used to distinguish between generative (investment in fruits) and vegetative (investment in leaves) plant growth.
Due to a too high fruit load, stem diameter growth decreases and becomes zero. After harvesting a part of the fruits, the plant growth resumes.

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Drought stress

Two identical (potted) plants are grown in the same conditions. At a certain point in time, irrigation is stopped for one of the plants.
After already days, the drought stress can be detected using diameter variation measurements. Daily growth stops and the diameter even shrinks. The diameter variations during the day also increase.
Only after 10 days, the drought stress becomes visually noticeable (wilting of the leaves). At this point, irrigation is resumed and the plant recovers (but not entirely).

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Stress whitefly

Whiteflies damage the plants by tapping into the phloem at the underside of the leaves. The plant loses turgor pressure and reacts to the toxic saliva of the whiteflies. Whiteflies can also secrete honeydew which can cause additional mould growth.
During a severe whitefly infection, daily growth of the stem stops and even shrinkage can be observed. Stem diameter variations during the day increase significantly.
After treatmens, the plants slowly recovers. Daily growth of the stem diameter is restored and daily fluctuations become smaller again.

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Effects irrigation

During the night, the plants are not irrigated and they gradually dry out as they use their internally stored water reserves to supplement the night-time inspiration (stem diameter decrease).

In the morning, the plants are irrigated 3 times (indicated by lines and arrows). At these times, sap flow increases due to the water uptake. Stem diameter also increases as the plants refill their internal reserves of the stem.

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Tube heating in the greenhouse is increased at 4am. This causes VPD to rise suddenly and plant transpiration to increase.
Due to this increase in transpiration, the plant is no longer able to refill its internal reserves. This causes the stem diameter to stop growing and to start shrinking prematurely.
If the heating is delayed for 1 hour, the plant would have had more opportunities for growth, this is a vegetative action. Whilst if we start at 3 am there would be even less growth, this is a generative action.
This graph shows just one of the many possibilities to optimize cultivation with data straight from the plant.

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The plant sensors consist of a sap flow sensor and a diameter variation sensor.

The sensors measure the reaction of the plant to changes in the climate (irrigation, exposure, ...) or manipulations (pruning, harvesting, ...).
They can be installed on the plant throughout the growing season.
Suitable for herbaceous (tomato, cucumber, paprika, ...) or woody (grape vine, ...) plants.
Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

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In practice

Between 3:45 en 6:30 am, the heating starts, this raises the temperature from 17-19 degrees celcius.
This activates the plant and shows a clear rise in sap flow.
When the screen opens, the temperature drops a few degrees, and the sap flow drops a little.
As the day progresses and the radiation strikes the plant, we see the plant react strongly.
Between 2 successive points in the Priva example, we can see how fast the plant reacts to climatological influences.
The 2 peaks in sapflow arise from the variable weather, the clouds result in less radiation and thus less sap flow, with the valley when the plant is in the shadows.
When the evening comes, we see that the sap flow decreases due to less radiation and temperature.
At 9pm we see that sap flow reaches its minimal sap flow and the temperature reaches 17 degrees celcius again,
With the low sap flow and root pressure, the plant will stretch its cells with water. We can see this in the diameter that rises.
This comparison originates from a pepper plant, using solely the temperature, radiation and screen settings.
This limited analysis was made for a presentation for pepper growers, it is an example of how the plant can react to certain influences.


Do you have additional questions or would you like more information?
Please do not hesitate to contact us, our staff will answer you within 24h.