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Letters to Nature
Nature 200, 490 - 491 (02 November 1963); doi:10.1038/200490b0

Plant Growth Response in a Simulated Electric Field-environment


Department of Engineering Mechanics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.

THE physiological effects on plant growth and plant growth response of environmental factors such as moisture, light, temperature, and similar functions are well documented. Literature relating almost all aspects of these environmental conditions is also quite extensive. Yet little is known of the physiological influence on plant growth of the electric field environment which prevails at all times everywhere. This communication shows that sufficiently high electric fields have a definite effect on plant growth and the growth response. Even though the simulated environmental conditions have been magnified rather grossly, it can be argued that under certain conditions affecting the charge balance in the ionosphere (such as radiation damage due to nuclear explosions1 and other forms of ionospheric radiation damage2), these conditions could indeed exist in the terrestrial microclimate.

  1. Science News Letter, 83, 248, April 16 (1963).
  2. McDonald, J. E. , Sci. Amer., 188, 32, April (1953).
  3. Murr, L. E. , Proc. Penn. Acad. Sci., 36, 188 (1962).
  4. Jorgensen, I. , and Priestley, J. J. , J. Agric. Sci., 6, 337 (1914).
  5. Jorgensen, I. , and Stiles, W. , J. Ecology, 5, 203 (1917).
  6. Shibusawa, M. , and Shibata, K. , J. Elect. Eng. (Japan), 473, 42 (1927).
  7. Blackman, V. H. , J. Agric. Sci., 14, 240 (1924). | ChemPort |

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