Ecosystem in a Bottle  

Posted by Big Gav

The Long Now has a post on a cool experiment in a bottle - Ecosystem in a Bottle.

It’s the ultimate low-maintenance houseplant: a spiderwort that waters itself.

David Latimer, a retired resident of Surrey, UK, created this self-sustaining garden “out of idle curiosity.” In 01960, he decided to fill a large glass carboy with some compost, planted a seedling, and gave it a quarter pint of water. He watered it once more in 01972, then sealed the container shut. Since then, the spiderwort has developed its very own, independent ecosystem.

As the Daily Mail explains, this microgarden refreshes its own air and provides its own water; all it needs is a bit of solar power. Sunlight provides the energy required for photosynthesis – the process whereby a plant sustains itself by converting water and carbon dioxide into nutrients and oxygen. Bacteria in the soil offer a little help in driving this cycle of energy conversion: consuming that oxygen, they digest dead leaves that fall to the ground, and release carbon dioxide back into the air.

But what truly allows it to nourish itself is the enclosed spiderwort’s remarkably efficient ability to recycle water. Its roots draw moisture from the soil, which is then transpirated back into the air by its leaves. As this moisture condenses, it is reabsorbed into the soil, and ready to begin its cycle all over again.

0 comments

Post a Comment

Ads

Ads

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

News

Loading...

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (582) global warming (365) solar power (338) peak oil (321) electric vehicles (193) renewable energy (182) wind power (172) ocean energy (156) csp (144) geothermal energy (142) smart grids (139) solar thermal power (133) tidal power (133) coal seam gas (127) nuclear power (122) oil (116) lng (112) geothermal power (111) solar pv (110) china (109) iraq (108) energy storage (105) green buildings (104) natural gas (102) agriculture (85) biofuel (76) oil price (76) smart meters (72) wave power (68) electricity grid (63) energy efficiency (63) uk (63) google (55) coal (53) internet (51) food prices (48) shale gas (48) surveillance (48) bicycle (47) big brother (47) thin film solar (41) canada (39) biomimicry (38) ocean power (37) scotland (36) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) queensland (32) credit crunch (31) politics (31) shale oil (31) bioplastic (30) concentrating solar power (30) california (29) geoengineering (28) offshore wind power (28) population (28) cogeneration (27) saudi arabia (27) resource wars (26) arctic ice (25) batteries (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) woodside (25) bruce sterling (24) drought (24) tesla (24) ctl (23) economics (22) carbon tax (20) coal to liquids (20) distributed manufacturing (20) indonesia (20) iraq oil law (20) limits to growth (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) buckminster fuller (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) exxon (17) lithium (17) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) electric bikes (16) mapping (16) michael klare (16) ucg (16) atlantis (15) bees (15) geodynamics (15) iceland (15) psychology (15) concentrating solar thermal power (14) ethanol (14) fertiliser (14) al gore (13) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) brazil (13) carbon emissions (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) biochar (12) bucky fuller (12) matthew simmons (12) otec (12) public transport (12) texas (12) victoria (12) chile (11) cradle to cradle (11) desertec (11) energy policy (11) internet of things (11) lithium ion batteries (11) terra preta (11) amory lovins (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) hybrid car (10) severn estuary (10) tinfoil (10) toyota (10) volt (10) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) afghanistan (8) antarctica (8) arrow energy (8) big oil (8) eroei (8) floating offshore wind power (8) four day week (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) fish (7) stirling engine (7) vinod khosla (7) airborne wind turbines (6) apocaphilia (6) bolivia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) saul griffith (6) scenario planning (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) global energy grid (2) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)