Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lessons in landscape

05.12.2001


Some plants don’t like their water second-hand.
© Photodisc


Keeping parks pretty means tailoring the trees to their source of water.

Irrigation water recycled from sewage can damage many plant species, new research has found1. The results show that landscape architects should tailor their choice of plants to the type of water they will receive.

Dale Devitt of the University of Nevada at Reno and colleagues began studying the effects of different water sources on plants after reports that ’reuse’ water had damaged trees and shrubs on Las Vegas golf courses. Reuse water is sewage water that has had the most serious pollutants removed but has not been restored to drinkable quality.



The researchers compared the effects of sprinkling plants with either reuse water or drinking-quality municipal water.

Most of the 20 plant species treated with reuse water showed signs of leaf damage relative to those irrigated with drinking water. Elms and desert willows were among the worst affected. Some species, such as Modesto ash and mimosa, were damaged even by drinking water.

All three of the pine species they studied were robust, however. This is fortunate, as pines are common to many parks, golf courses and other ornamental landscapes in Nevada.

Waste not

Reusing ’waste water’ is one of the most promising means of irrigating arid regions. Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona both run water reclamation schemes, for example. In Israel, 70% of the country’s sewage is treated and used for agricultural irrigation - pollutants become valuable fertilizers.

"The major barriers to reusing waste water are psychological, not technical," says Sandra Postel of the Global Water Policy Project in Massachusetts.

But the Reno team’s results suggest that at least one technical barrier remains. Reuse water retains substances that may damage delicate plants. In particular, it is relatively high in salts.

References
  1. Jordan, L. A., Devitt, D. A., Morris, R. L. & Neumann, D. S. Foliar damage to ornamental trees sprinkler-irrigated with reuse water. Irrigation Science, advanced online publication DOI: 10.1007/s00271-001-0050-y (2001).


PHILIP BALL | © Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/011206/011206-9.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

Im Focus: Small collisions make big impact on Mercury's thin atmosphere

Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.

Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

Conference Week RRR2017 on Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands

28.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A single photon reveals quantum entanglement of 16 million atoms

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline

16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

On the generation of solar spicules and Alfvenic waves

16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>