About this Research Topic
Water scarcity in certain regions of the planet, together with an unprecedented rise in population, presents a great challenge to silviculture and agriculture associated productivity, such as for food and timber production. The increased utilization of these products can be restricted by the scarcity of natural resources, such as water. Maintaining sustainable plant growth is the key to optimizing productivity. However, we do not yet completely understand the associated mechanisms of plant growth and how they are affected by water stress.
In recent years, there has been an interesting debate on the relative importance of the limitation of growth by photosynthesis and hydraulic-related signals (e.g. turgor). Meanwhile, this knowledge has been used to develop increasingly more mechanistic-based growth models. However, there are still many open questions, such as what is the main controlling factor of plant growth rate under drought conditions, is it turgor and associated processes or photosynthesis? Which one has a more immediate effect? Moreover, can hydraulic traits related to turgor explain tree growth? Do different tree organs (e.g., leaves, stems, roots and fruits) respond to water stress differently? How can we incorporate turgor related processes in the already existing growth models, that are more photosynthesis-focused, in a mechanistic way? And, finally, are there any reliable indicators providing information on water stress that can help to make predictions on plant growth and crop productivity?
This Research Topic invites submissions linking tree growth with water stress responses, and adaptations from molecular to crop-stand scales, both in agricultural and plantations systems. We especially encourage research approaches and data that combine plant water relations, carbon fluxes, and growth of different plant organs. This will allow us to identify growth limitations as well as the different levels of stress at which they occur. We also welcome modelling studies that increase our mechanistic understanding of growth and its response and adaptation to water stress. We expect to bring together contributions at the crossroads of plant ecophysiology, forestry, silviculture, agronomy, soil, and atmospheric sciences to provide novel and more mechanistic approaches to improve tree plantation and crop production in the context of climate change.
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.