Rhizotron facilities commonly incorporate (plexi-)glass observation windows / panels for the observation of root growth in undisturbed soil. This concept has also been adapted for field research, where (removable) "root windows", as as alternative to "minirhizotrons", are employed to achieve the same purpose. For "portable" rhizotrons and ex situ studies see Rhizoboxes.
VSI Rhizotrons. We build ultra-large rhizoboxes, also known as rhizotrons, for woody plant studies, as mesocosms for holding species assemblages, and for educational displays. The Rhizotrons are fully customizable and consist of aluminum panels (anodized) for the back and side, aluminum profiles on the front edges, and transparent acrylic front panels (mounted straight or angled). The bottom can be constructed open ("no bottom") or perforated (for drainage). Shading panels are optional. Please contact us to discuss your custom Rhizotron installation. Size limitations are imposed by the availability of acrylic front panels and/or larger dimensions can be achieved by using partitions (see example Figure). See VSI Rhizoboxes if you are interested in portable Rhizotrons for ex situ studies.
VSI Root Observation Windows. Root observation windows in "Rhizotron" facilities / field plots typically consist of a transparent panel or wall that is installed vertically (or slightly angled) in the soil to allow direct visualization of the roots. This panel is made of transparent & durable acrylic. The transparent surface is positioned to intersect the root zone, allowing to observe the roots as they grow and develop. Vienna Scientific will assist you in sourcing/manufacturing all parts necessary to install Root Observation Windows in your experiment. Our service can include
Wooden poles and boards to secure the excavated pit walls (back and sides) can best sourced locally. Please schedule a meeting to discuss your root window requirements.
Installing root windows in a field generally involves the following steps