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Growth characteristics comparison of lettuce and silkworms in and out of the multibiological life support system

Tong, Ling, Hu, Dawei, Fu, Yuming, Xie, Beizhen, Liu, Hong
Ecological engineering 2012 v.47 pp. 105-109
Algae, batch systems, biomass, biotransformation, lettuce, silkworms
To establish bioregenerative life support system (BLSS) on lunar or Mars bases in the future, it is necessary to firstly conduct manned simulation experiments, including several different kinds of creatures on the ground. To provide the basis for establishing the system, a multibiological life support system composed of lettuce, silkworm and algae was set up in this study. Lettuce and silkworms were cultivated in a closed integrated cultivating system (CICS) of integrative experimental system (IES). The conveyor-type cultivation method was implemented, which harvested the largest batch of lettuce and silkworms from the system and carried the smallest batch of them into the system every four days. During this process, the main element contents of lettuce were determined. Biomasses, heights, and crown diameters of lettuce in and out of the system were compared. Biomasses, excrement production rates, and bioconversion rates of silkworms in and out of the system were also studied. Results showed silkworms and lettuce in the IES could grow normally. There were no significant differences of biomass, height, or excrement production rates between creatures (lettuce and silkworms) in the system and those out of the system.