Our research aim is to integrate ecological based results into new production systems of raw materials and bioenergy crops. It is crucial to understand plant responses to combinations of water and nutrient availability for the development of sustainable plant production systems. Particular emphasis is put on interactions between crops and their environment and on plant performance, based on ecophysiological processes and soil-plant-atmosphere interactions. 

There is considerable research effort in investigating plant growth and the fundamental ecophysiological mechanisms that plants use to cope with environmental stresses. Comprehensive field and controlled greenhouse experiments on photosynthesis, plant growth, water use efficiency, nutrient requirements, and effects on ecosystems processes are carried out.

Ecophysiology of short-rtation trees, bioenergy crops and renewable resources

Ecophysiology represents the study of short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions. Understanding of these basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stress is crutical for plant production. These includes photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, water and mineral uptake. The analyses is based on measurements of ecophysiological parameters like leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, water-use efficiency, plant water status, and chemical analysis of plants and soils in controlled greenhouse experiments and field trials. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant interactions within natural and agricultural ecosystems. A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning.  The research is grouped in four main topics: (i): plant ecophysiology and abiotic stress, (ii): linking plant ecophysiology and ecosystem processes, (iii): soil-plant-atmosphere processes, (iv): water fluxes in agrosystems and forests.


Irriigation and water use efficiency

Substantial land areas used for agriculture are located in arid zones, where large amounts of irrigation water is required fro crop production. Available water sources for agricultural use are often highly saline and may contain levels of toxic substance. An increased input of various elements (e.g. salt constituents, biogenic and nutritional elements, trace and heavy metals, etc.) into the regional water and soil system causes slow but steady deterioration of water and soil quality. (more…)


Soil-plant-atmosphere processes 

Soil moisture dynamics together with the evaporative atmospheric demand are key factors for the study of the soil-plant-atmosphere interaction in relation to the primary production. Our aim is to study biomass transpiration relations of plants under different soil water availabilty. For the study we developed a modified wicked lysimeter system. (more…)

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