About this Research Topic
The current agricultural plant production system is dominated by mono-cropping with genetically uniform cultivars. This genetic erosion has led to a displacement of locally adapted landraces and cultivars and poses a serious threat to plant productivity in stressed agro-ecosystems. The adaptation of crops to drought, heat, salinity, and low soil fertility is becoming paramount due to global climate change. Utilizing exotic or underused germplasms as a source of adaptive traits is a largely untapped way to ensure a stable yield. The task to apply biodiversity in crop production to confer food security and sustainability was acknowledged by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and reflected by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In many parts of the world, poor soil fertility threatens yield stability. Therefore, the soil nutrient reserve must be replenished to sustain crop yield. Mineral fertilizer in excess, however, is detrimental to the environment. For instance, elevated loads of nitrogen, phosphorus, or chlorine pollute water bodies and impact on biodiversity. Major anticipated concerns for our agricultural systems are the limitation in phosphorus, temperature increase, extreme and unpredictable weather events, and salinity. Therefore, environmentally friendly strategies to optimize nutrient cycling are urgently required and this involves increasing nutrient use efficiency. In the face of climate change, it is necessary to mine crop biodiversity to increase nutrient uptake and usage, and to help implement a "Zero-Waste" concept in plant nutrition.
This Research Topic is intended to provide an updated view on the use of crop biodiversity to open new avenues for improved nutrient cycling. We welcome contributions (Original Research, Review, Mini Review, and Perspective) covering any of the following aspects:
- Studies on improving nutrient fluxes through control of production factors both in controlled environments and in the field (horticulture/agriculture)
- Screening and application of genebank material for improved nutrient use efficiency
- Studies on the effect of combining (novel) crop species (multi-cropping, intercropping, rotations, cover cropping) on crop performance and nutrient availability
- Effect of mutualistic species (mycorrhiza or bacteria) on nutrient cycling; e.g. improvement of nutrient uptake and by mutualism.
- Climate change-driven effects on nutrient cycling; e.g. how do different temperatures/precipitation influence nutrient cycling through soils?
Keywords: Abiotic stress, Acclimation, Genetic diversity, Omics, Nutrient use efficiency, Phenotype
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.