About this Research Topic
The agriculture sector is facing challenges caused by ongoing climate change resulting in prolonged drought events due to a lack of precipitation, waterlogging events caused by extreme rainfall, and unprecedented temperature fluctuations affecting freeze-thaw cycles. Crop performance under conditions of water stress depends on a successful coordination of processes at root, stem, and leaf level. Knowledge about the sequence of drought-induced physiological and anatomical events will facilitate (a) the selection of crop genotypes with improved drought resistance and (b) the development of sustainable irrigation practices. Water relations provides the fundamental knowledge about plant growth and survival under water limited conditions. It encompasses how plants control the hydration status of cells and organs, including water absorption from the soil, long-distance transport, and leaf water loss to the atmosphere.
‘Crop physiology has often been criticized in the past as offering explanations only after the fact (Abraham Blum)’. Here we will showcase examples of ongoing research efforts into plant-water relations and stress physiology that significantly contribute to the success of agricultural practices in water stressed environments before the fact. The collection of research articles will focus on biophysical concepts linked to mechanisms of water uptake, movement, and storage in the context of crop water requirements, sustainable irrigation practices, and climate change.
This Research Topic welcomes articles which provide an integrative understanding of plant-water relations and associated physiological processes from cell to organ to whole-plant level; highlighting the sequence of physiological events in responses to water stress, critically evaluating existing techniques to monitor plant water status, and provide insights into irrigation management practices that allow for sustainable agriculture through protecting existing water resources. Biophysical modelling will be used to establish theoretical frameworks of water-cell-plant-agriculture interactions. We welcome a range of article types addressing the following subtopics:
- Cellular water relations
- Root water absorption
- Xylem transport and storage
- Techniques and Tools
- Physiological stress thresholds
- Temperature, Anoxia and drought and its impact on plant water relations
- Physiological phenotyping
- Precision irrigation practices
- Biophysical modelling and theoretical frameworks.
Keywords: plant hydraulics, water relations, xylem transport, irrigation, water storage
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.