THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Groasis Waterbox lets trees grow up in unfriendly places...

The Groasis Waterboxx is a low-tech device that helps saplings grow into trees in inhospit...
The Groasis Waterboxx is a low-tech device that helps saplings grow into trees in inhospitable environments
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It’s not often that you hear about an invention that was modeled after bird poop, but there’s a first time for everything. In fact, this fecally-inspired device could ultimately be responsible for reforesting billion of acres of parched land, and it just won Popular Science’s Best Invention 2010 award. It’s called the Groasis Waterboxx, and it’s a low-tech product that helps seeds or saplings grow into strong trees in eroded, arid and rocky environments.
When a bird poops out a seed, the accompanying excrement forms a cap over the seed, which prevents water in the soil from evaporating. That, essentially, is how the Waterboxx works. The device has a tubular opening in the middle, through which one or two saplings or seeds can be planted or sown directly into the soil. Users then add 15 liters (4 gallons) of water to the box’s internal reservoir, as well as three liters (one gallon) down the tube.

The outside top surface of the box is designed to collect rainwater and deliver it to the reservoir, while the inside is designed to collect condensation from the air at night. The box itself shields the ground from the evaporative effects of the sun and wind, protects the sapling from wildlife, and maintains a fairly even soil temperature. A small wick in its underside releases about 50ml of water from the reservoir into the soil every day. At night, the water-filled reservoir helps to insulate the seed/sapling, while it also helps to cool it during the day.
The water that the box disperses seeps down into the soil, creating a capillary water column that the sapling’s roots will follow as it grows. Once the roots reach the natural water table, the sapling will experience a growth spurt, which is an indication that the box can be removed.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Eradicate wild Kiwifruit in case they harbour PSA disease...

Young kiwifruit orchard, North Island, New Zea...Image via Wikipedia
Forest and Bird is calling for the eradication of wild kiwifruit vines in Bay of Plenty following an outbreak of the devastating PSA disease that is spreading through Kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand in recent weeks...

Thirteen Bay of Plenty kiwifruit orchards have been confirmed with the bacteria PSA, with 16 orchards quarantined.

Forest and Bird Kaimai Mamaku Campaign chairman Peter Maddison said wild kiwifruit vines could harbour the bacteria and should be destroyed.

"Now is an ideal opportunity to eradicate these vines and reinstate the areas as native wildlife
corridors," he said.
"We recognise that the wilding kiwifruit are mainly the green variety, rather than the initially infected gold variety, but we believe the wild vines could still act as reservoirs for re-infestation of kiwifruit orchards."

Dr Maddison said other species of the kiwifruit family should also be checked for signs of PSA.

Acknowledgements: - NZPA
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