In cooperation with Rhizosphere Research Products (Wageningen, The Netherlands) we increase the versatility of rhizoboxes by turning them into optional "RhizonBoxes" - which allow in additions to use 1) MicroRhizons for pore water sampling, 2) Rhizons for local soil water manipulation (e.g. salt or heavy metal infiltration) and sampling, and 3) Rhizon Irrigators for passive irrigation.
The key difference to our classical VSI rhizoboxes is the 5 mm x 5 mm-grid of 1.5 mm-diameter holes at the back plate, allowing to insert MicroRhizons at the positions of choice (e.g. next to specific root segments (e.g. tips), or in bulk soil) to extract soil pore water. Before insertion of MicroRhizons, all holes are closed by an replaceable foil on the inside - avoiding side effects such as increased gas exchange - and allowing to use "RhizonBoxes" like "standard" rhizoboxes if needed. In addition, Rhizons with silicone sleeves (sealing the opening) can be inserted from openings at one or two side(s) of the RhizonBoxes (e.g. at 5, 10 and 15 cm from the bottom in A4-sized boxes) to sample percolating soil solutions or to enter specific solutions at different depth of the chamber. As with our classical Rhizoboxes, the VSI "Rhizonboxes" are fully customizable (please use the configuration form below to request a quote). However, you may ask for cost effective standard sizes at reduced prices.
Schematic of an example rhizo(n)box experiment using MicroRhizons for soil water extraction and Rhizon Irrigators for passive irrigation.
For example, Liu et al. (2006) placed MicroRhizons in the soil through holes in the Rhizo(n)box walls. Each MicroRhizon was connected to a discrete sample vial contained in a PVC vacuum box. Nutrient solutions were fed by gravity into the rhizobox soil from a raised reservoir connected to the Rhizon Irrigators. See Liu et al. (2016) for details (Reference below).