VSI Rhizonboxes. In cooperation with Rhizosphere Research Products we build "RhizonBoxes" - allowing to use 1) MicroRhizons for pore water sampling (using the perforated back panel), 2) Rhizons for local soil water manipulation (e.g. salt or heavy metal infiltration) and sampling of larger water volumes (using holes in the side walls or installed from top), and 3) Rhizon Irrigators for passive irrigation.
The main difference to our classic Rhizoboxes is the 5 mm x 5 mm grid of 1.5 mm diameter holes on the back, which allows the insertion of MicroRhizons (without silicone sleeves) at the desired positions (e.g. next to specific root segments (e.g. tips) or in bulk soil). Before MicroRhizons are inserted, all holes are sealed with a replaceable foil/tape (e.g. parafilm) to prevent increased gas exchange and evaporation. This foil is best installed on the inside before Rhizonbox filling; "used", open holes can be reclosed with tape from the outside.
Larger diameter Rhizons (and MicroRhizons) with silicone sleeves can be inserted through 4.5-mm holes on one or two sides of the Rhizonbox to sample larger volumes of percolating soil solutions or to introduce specific solutions / water at different depths in the box. The silicon sleeves close the 4.5 mm hole; before sampler insertion the holes can be closed with tape or similar (from the outside).
Rhizonboxes are fully customizable via the configuration form; use the rhizobox configurator to approximate rooting space, weight etc. of your Rhizonbox design.
Custom Rhizonbox designs (as well as other options / accessories) can be configured using the Rhizobox Configuration Form (pdf).
Standard, inexpensive Rhizonboxes & Accessories (Racks, Light Shielding Panels) are available for trials, educational project etc. in the online store.
Three types of Rhizons, all with various customisation options, are commonly used with RhizonBoxes
Please note the different diameters of the MicroRhizons, Rhizon Samplers and RhizonIrrigators - and thus the different possibilities to insert them into the Rhizonboxes. Rhizons and RhizonIrrigators can only be used with normal Rhizoboxes from the top.
Schematic of an example Rhizonbox experiment using MicroRhizons for soil water extraction and Rhizon Irrigators for passive irrigation from the top. For example, Liu et al. (2006) placed MicroRhizons in the soil through holes in the Rhizonbox back panel. Each MicroRhizon was connected to vacuum sample vial. Nutrient solutions were fed by gravity into the rhizobox soil from a raised reservoir connected to the RhizonIrrigators. See Liu et al. (2016) for details.