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Determination of Moisture Conditions using Pinus sylvestris Seeds as Biosensors

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The aim of this study was to ascertain whether it might be possible to use seeds (Pinus sylvestris L.) as biosensors for determining seedbed moisture conditions by repeatedly weighing them during inhibition and desiccation. To make the seeds manageable, they were glued on to a Nylon thread. Tests were conducted in the laboratory under different moisture regimes (close to 75% and 100% air humidity with and without a wet substrate) to determine whether water uptake or water loss was influenced by this gluing. In a very moist environment (resulting in 40-50% seed weight change), the increase in seed weight was a few percentage units lower for glued seeds than for non-glued ones. However, gluing had no significant effect when seeds were exposed to air humidity only (10% and 20% seed weight change). It was concluded that it is possible to use seeds as biosensors for the determination of moisture conditions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2000

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