PLEN Phytotron


Enclosed Ecosystem Platform

Parent institution: University of Copenhagen, Dept. of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Active since 2013
Active through 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year

Fields of study

  • Atmospheric chemistry and physics
  • Climatology, Climate Change
  • Environmental sciences, Pollution
  • Soil science
  • Microbiology
  • Other
  • Plant Science

Contact Information

Bruun, Sander

The facilities include of state-of-the-art automated greenhouses, climate chambers and semi-field experiments, where all growth parameters can be managed (Incl. CO2). The ongoing research at the facilities have a particular focus on the effects of climate gradients and extremes on the physiology and growth of crop plants, as well as basic research investigating the interactions between plants, insects and microorgansims (Ecosystems approaches). The present plant growth facilities in Taastrup include:

• 1200 m2 greenhouse, divided into 10 units of 50 m2 and 2 units of 36 m2 (2014)

• 1250 m2 greenhouse, divided into 4 growth units of 250 m2 (1994)

• 300 m2 greenhouse, divided into 10 growth units of 25 m2 (1985)

• 6 walk-in growth chambers, each with 3 m2 growth area (1962, continuously updated)

• 4 reach-in growth chambers, each with 1 m2 growth area (1985)

• 3 rooms for vernalisation of plants, with a total of 55 m2 (2002)

• 1 growth chamber with freezing temperatures, 3 m2 (1995)

The Location

Country: Denmark

Latitude: 55.6666667

Longitude: 12.30000

Nearest town: Taastrup

Distance from neaerst town: 4 km

Relevant Research Questions

The scientific objective is gaining a basic understanding of the biochemical and pfysiological mechanisms and processes that govern plant growth and their interactions with the surrounding environment.


The PLEN PHYTOTRON together with the PLEN Agro Ecosystems provide a strong ecosystem framework for a detailed analysis of climate change, pollution and land-use pressure effects on crop production, food security and biodiversity.


The main limitation is the current age of the growth chambers at the facility, which are in need of upgrades to be more efficient and better facilitate demands of future climate change studies.

Experimental Capabilities

Experimental Facilities

Experiments duration: Weeks, Months, Years;

Experimental Aerea

Total area: 1200 m²

12 cells of approx. 50 m2 and several minor climate chambers

Available area: 1200 m²

12 cells of approx. 50 m2 and several minor climate chambers

Experimental Unit Size

unit size: 50 m²


Replicates number: 12

Temporary storage

  • Dark room
  • Drying oven
  • Freeze drier
  • Freezer
  • Liquid N
  • Refrigerator
  • Other

Available Instruments

  • CIRAS Photosynthesis Systems
  • Videometer lab
  • Walz Fluorescence Imaging systems
  • Parrot water sensors
  • Soil water content monitoring

Electricity available on site.

Distance from Laboratory facilities


Years measured:


Mean Temperature: °C

February Mean Temperature: °C

July Mean Temperature: °C


Mean Annual Speed: m/s

Max. Annual Speed: m/s

Dominant Direction:


Total annual precipitation: mm

Mean snow cover duration: 0 days

State Variables

Continuously Measured

  • Air humidity
  • Air temperature
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Canopy temperature
  • Phenology

Spot Measured

  • Fluorescence
  • Incident PAR
  • Incident shortwave radiation
  • Soil temperature
  • Soil water content

Environmental Pressures

Variable Ecosystem Status
CO2 Agrosystem Active
Warming Agrosystem Active
Precip Agrosystem Active
Hydro Agrosystem Active
Soileutroph Agrosystem Active
Watereutroph Agrosystem Active
Desert Agrosystem Active
Management - Nutrients (levels or nutrient type) Agrosystem Active
Management - pesticides (or other non-nutrient chemicals) Agrosystem Active
Management - conventional vs. organic or other eco-friendly practice Agrosystem Active
Management - species and/or ecotype combinations Agrosystem Active
Management - traditional (or native) vs. new (or non-native) species Agrosystem Active
Habitatfrag Agrosystem Active
GMO Agrosystem Active
Pests Agrosystem Active
Biodiversity Agrosystem Active

On site Staff and Accomodation

Peak season staff

Up to 80 people

Off season staff

Up to 80 people

Visiting personnel

Up to 100 visitors

No beds on site

Showers on site

Showers on site

No laundry on site