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Understanding and optimizing the physical properties of growing media for soilless cultivation

Code: 9781801460415
Jean Caron, Université Laval, Canada; and Jean-Charles Michel, L’Institut Agro, France

Chapter synopsis: From the end of the last century and the beginning of this millennium, the design and use of growing media have rapidly evolved to respond to new needs and constraints. Additional concepts in soil physics have been developed to cope with these changes. The beginning of this millennium has also witnessed increasing use of automation and the development of real-time sensors and computer models that could benefit the overall field of growing media. With such real-time response system capabilities, there is a clear need to introduce dynamic concepts about gas and water movement in growing media to optimize productivity and limit environmental impacts. This chapter emphasizes the latest development around some of the critical physical concepts and the factors affecting them. It presents a case study illustrating their use in growing media design based on future development in this field.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2020.0076.04
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Parameters used to describe the physical properties of substrates and their measurement 3 Factors explaining substrate physical behaviour: particle size 4 Factors explaining substrate physical behaviour: structure (solid-phase organization) 5 Factors explaining substrate physical behaviour: change in physical properties 6 Case study: designing a substrate for production of forest tree seedlings 7 Summary and future trends 8 Acknowledgements 9 Where to look for further information 10 References

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