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Studying the effects of serpentine soil on adapted and non-adapted species using Arduino technology

By Kiana Saniee, Edward Himelblau and Brian Paavo


Abstract: Serpentine soils are formed from ultramafic rocks and are represent an extreme environment for plants. Serpentine soils are unique in that they carry high concentrations of heavy metals, are nutrient deficient, particularly in calcium, and have poor water retention capabilities. Although these soils constitute harsh conditions for plant growth, there are a number of species that are adapted and even endemic to serpentine soil. Water retention by commercial potting mix was compared with serpentine soil. Also, serpentine adapted and non-adapted species were grown in both soil treatments and physiological data were collected. We used the Arduino electronic platform to collect data such as moisture levels and photosynthetic activity. An advantage of Arduino-based data collection is low cost and the availability of a wide array of sensors. An Arduino-based cartesian coordinate robotic system was created to automate data collection from a set of small potted plants in a grid formation

Topics: Botany, Serpentine Soil, Ecology, Biology, Technology, Robot, Soil Moisture, Arduino, Coding, Biology, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Hardware Systems, Plant Biology, Robotics
Publisher: DigitalCommons@CalPoly
Year: 2016
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