Type

Journal Article

Authors

Caroline Elliott-Kingston
Charilaos Yiotis
Jennifer C McElwain
Christiana Evans-Fitz Gerald
Amanda S Porter
Christiana Evans-FitzGerald

Subjects

Physiotherapy & Sport

Topics
stable isotopes experimental design plant growth controlled environment traits testing performance index carbon isotopes environment controlled stable carbon isotopes uniformity trials fresh weight chamber effect gas analysis plant anatomy chlorophyll fluorescence plant growth chamber

How well do you know your growth chambers? Testing for chamber effect using plant traits. (2015)

Abstract Plant growth chambers provide a controlled environment to analyse the effects of environmental parameters (light, temperature, atmospheric gas composition etc.) on plant function. However, it has been shown that a 'chamber effect' may exist whereby results observed are not due to an experimental treatment but to inconspicuous differences in supposedly identical chambers. In this study, Vicia faba L. 'Aquadulce Claudia' (broad bean) plants were grown in eight walk-in chambers to establish if a chamber effect existed, and if so, what plant traits are best for detecting such an effect. A range of techniques were used to measure differences between chamber plants, including chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, gas exchange analysis, biomass, reproductive yield, anatomical traits and leaf stable carbon isotopes. Four of the eight chambers exhibited a chamber effect. In particular, we identified two types of chamber effect which we term 'resolvable' or 'unresolved'; a resolvable chamber effect is caused by malfunctioning components of a chamber and an unresolved chamber effect is caused by unknown factors that can only be mitigated by appropriate experimental design and sufficient replication. Not all measured plant traits were able to detect a chamber effect and no single trait was capable of detecting all chamber effects. Fresh weight and flower count detected a chamber effect in three chambers, stable carbon isotopes (δ(13)C) and net rate CO2 assimilation (An) identified a chamber effect in two chambers, stomatal conductance (gs) and total performance index detected an effect only in one chamber. (1) Chamber effects can be adequately detected by fresh weight measurements and flower counts on Vicia faba plants. These methods were the most effective in terms of detection and most efficient in terms of time. (2) δ(13)C, gs and An measurements help distinguish between resolvable and unresolved chamber effects. (3) Unresolved chamber effects require experimental unit replication while resolvable chamber effects require investigation, repair and retesting in advance of initiating further experiments.
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Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Earth Institute Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Agriculture and Food Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Earth Institute Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Biology & Environmental Science Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Agriculture and Food Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Health and Agricultural Sciences
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Biology & Environmental Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Biology & Environmental Science
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> UCD Earth Institute
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Biology & Environmental Science Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Institutes and Centres

Full list of authors on original publication

Caroline Elliott-Kingston, Charilaos Yiotis, Jennifer C McElwain, Christiana Evans-Fitz Gerald, Amanda S Porter, Christiana Evans-FitzGerald

Experts in our system

1
Caroline Elliott-Kingston
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 6
 
2
Charilaos Yiotis
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 8
 
3
Jennifer C McElwain
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 25