Web site of Austrian Lysimeter Research Group

Operated by: Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt WSL
(Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL)

Zürcherstrasse 111
CH-8903 Birmensdorf
Contact: Dr. Madeleine Guenthardt-Goerg
Fax +41 1 739 22 54
Tel. +41 1 739 22 76
email: goerg@wsl.ch

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Birmensdorf - field plotBirmensdorf - sketch of field plot

Birmensdorf (CH 5)
Purpose of this facility to investigate the fluxes in model ecosystem chambers and to trace and better understand the reactions of the plants and associated organisms to the chronic influence of 1) important soil pollutants (Zn, Cu, Cd) and rain acidity); to improve the accuracy of the estimation of benefit and risk when polluted soils, dumps and deponies are regreened/reforested and stabilised by so-called 'phytoremediation'
and of 2) drought, air warming or their combination to better estimate
the success of reforestations in a changing climate
Lysimeter type Large lysimeter - "Open-top chamber"/model eco-system with mobile roof and field plot
Operating since 2000
Number of lysimeters 22 (2 Type without OTCs (ambient) & 20 type model ecosystem
chambers' with roofs excluding automatically natural precipitation)
Size classification large
Exact size 6 m² x 1.5 m soil depth
Equipment The treatments in 4 chambers each are:
• control,
• acidic irrigation,
• heavy metals in the upper soil
• the combination of acidic irrigation and heavy metals.

Each chamber is split into 2 soil compartments, filled with
• an acidic (pH 4.5) or
• a calcareous (pH 7.5) subsoil.

Each subsoil is divided into 2 compartments (quarter chambers) with/without a pathogen/saprophyte system.

Forest - trees

Each model ecosystem is formed with the same collective of trees, including Norway spruce (picea abies), birch (betula pendula), willow (salix viminalis), and poplar (populus tremula), seedlings from 3 different tree species and 6 herbaceous understory plant species differing in their growth strategies.

Further equipment To study the reactions in the field to spontaneous and controlled pests, particularly sucking and feeding insects, the model ecosystems are repreated in 20 field plots near by. Here the plantations are completed by beech, alder (measuring symbiontic N2 fixation), and maple.
Modelling Water balance, nutrient transport, transport of pollutants
Remarks Coating of the concrete walls, tubes and instruments had been
renovated or replaced and forests soils excavated and renewed
several times
Web sites http://www.wsl.ch/forschung/forschungsprojekte/von_zelle_zu_baum
  (last updated: June 9, 2008)