Suitability of dielectric soil moisture sensors for measuring the water supply status of green roofs

Abstract

Extensive green roofs are a key component of urban water management in the future. On the one hand, they should mitigate urban heat islands, for which evapotranspiration has to be maximized, and on the other hand, they are supposed to reduce the risk of urban floods after heavy precipitation events. To achieve these goals, an exact measurement of the water supply status is necessary. In arable soils as well as in organic growing media, dielectric sensors are widely common. However, there is only little knowledge about the suitability of this kind of sensors for mineral and coarse-textured substrates used for extensive green roofs. In the current research four dielectric sensors (EC-5, 10 HS, SMT 100 and Aquaflex TR) were tested using five different green roof substrates. The five substrates were filled in plastic boxes of 80 x 60 cm. Substrate height was 15 cm and the four sensors were placed at half height. Afterwards, white lupine was sown and cultivated up to a height of about 30 cm. For testing the sensors, the substrates were saturated with water and then they have been left to dry out until plants show severe signs of wilt. During dry out, the sensor signals as well as the weight of the boxes were recorded automatically every five minutes. For each substrate six consecutive drying cycles were done. With exception of the Aquaflex TR, for all sensors output signals were closely linear correlated to the weight loss and signal ranges were comparable for the six drying cycles. However, significant differences in output signals of the sensors between the five tested substrates were observed. This indicates a need for substrate specific calibrations. The relation between the output signal of the Aquaflex TR and the weight loss was not linear, but also reproducible and suitable to assess water supply status of plants.

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Titel Suitability of dielectric soil moisture sensors for measuring the water supply status of green roofs
Medien 31. International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022); II International symposium on greener cities: improving ecosystem services in a climate-changing world (greencities2022)
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Verfasser/Herausgeber Dipl. Ing. (FH) Heinz-Josef Schmitz, M.Sc. Ivonne Jüttner, Dr. Dieter Lohr, Prof. Dr. Elke Meinken
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Veröffentlichungsdatum 16.08.2022
Projekttitel Intelligentes Bewässerungsmanagement auf dem Dach
Zitation Schmitz, H.; Jüttner, I.; Lohr, D.; Meinken, E. (2022): Suitability of dielectric soil moisture sensors for measuring the water supply status of green roofs. 31. International Horticultural Congress (IHC2022); II International symposium on greener cities: improving ecosystem services in a climate-changing world (greencities2022).