These are the kinds of bamboo that can be troublesome to property owners — the kinds with runners — but that feature is exactly what makes them possibly valuable to a place like the Savannah River Site.
The reason is the remediation of waste sites, such as old settling basins or waste disposal areas. A common approach includes capping such sites to prevent rain from seeping through the waste, potentially spreading contamination.
"We are looking at numerous kinds of vegetation to plant on closure caps," said Dr. Eric Nelson, of SRNL's Environmental Analysis Section. "The vegetation is there to prevent erosion and extract water from the cap. The caps are generally soil with clay and perhaps artificial layers below. Vegetation on a cap has to be quick-growing, shallow-rooted so as not to penetrate the layers, densely rooted, cold hardy, drought tolerant, and able to thrive in full sun. It also needs to be good at preventing invasion of other plants, especially pines. We thought bamboos would have good potential."
Of the thousand or so species of bamboo, SRNL selected two of the smaller species with runners for assessment (P. bissetii and P. rubromarginata). In 1991, they were planted in a one-acre plot about ten feet apart.
The next step was ... to ignore them. Dr. Nelson next assessed the nursery 14 years later.
"The bamboo grew in well and there were relatively few other plants that invaded the plots. The bamboo was especially effective in keeping out pines," he said. "We did another assessment late last year with similar results. Bamboo, especially P. bissetii, is a good candidate for use on a closure cap."
Dr. Nelson said that a closure cap vegetative cover will require more study than this nursery. "Soils are important and moisture balance and nutrient cycles are also important. We also need to understand more fully the early growth and establishment of the bamboo and its performance in closure cap conditions. But it seems promising at this time, pending further research."
SRS has a number of closure sites with caps now, but in the future there will be many more, including caps over closed waste tanks. Their success is a matter of physical, environmental and regulatory importance. "This nursery has helped us define future research needs and operational issues," Dr. Nelson said.
SRNL is DOE's applied research and development national laboratory at the Savannah River Site (SRS). SRNL puts science to work to support DOE and the nation in the areas of environmental management, national and homeland security, and energy security. The management and operating contractor for SRS and SRNL is Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.
Bruce Cadotte | EurekAlert!
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy