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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 29: Symposium on Nutrition and Fertilization of Vegetables

ATMOSPHERIC ELECTRICITY AND PLANT NUTRITION

Author:   Z. Zurbicki
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.29.34
Abstract:
Investigations of the electrical properties of atmosphere and electrophysiology of plants started already as far back as the end of the nineteenth century. However, the effect of atmospheric electricity on physiological processes in plants, as well as the interaction between vegetation and electrical phenomena in the atmosphere, till now have been studied quite insufficiently despite the theoretical and practical importance of this problem. A first comprehensive 17-year study into atmospheric electricity and its role in plant growth were carried out by Lemström [7]. In his experiment the roots of the plants under study were connected to the negative pole of the electrostatic generator. The result was that dry weight of the cereals increased by 60% and that of carrot by 183%, though strawberry plants under these conditions were inhibited. It was shown that electrization of plants gave better results in fertile soils and with an adequate water supply.

Based on his findings Lemström drew more general conclusions. His concept was that awns of cereals and needles of coniferous fulfil the electrical function in plants. He considered that good growth of plants in polar regions was due to electrical processes in the atmosphere which proceed more intensively in those regions. He showed that growth of trees in polar regions, as shown by their annual rings, is in good correlation with the intensity of northern lighst.

Long-term studies carried out by V.H.Blackman [1], (head of the Electroculture Comission of the Ministry of Agriculture

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