An inflatable minirhizotron system for root observations with improved soil/tube contact uri icon


  • Commonly used minirhizotrons consisting of a transparent tube inserted into the soil seldom attain good contact between the tube and the soil, which leads to root growth occurring in a gap rather than in the soil. A new system is described involving an inflatable flexible rubber wall, made from a modified motorcycle tube. Pressure ensures a proper tube/soil contact so that the environmental circumstances for root growth along the tube more closely correspond to those in the undisturbed soil. Before the endoscope slide is introduced into the minirhizotron for taking pictures, the inflatable tube is removed, so that there is no-often opaque-wall between the endoscope and the roots. This improves the picture quality and facilitates the analysis of root images

publication date

  • 1991