About this Research Topic
During recent decades, plants have experienced significant changes in the environment as a consequence of human activities, including increases in both average temperatures and heat-waves, altered precipitation patterns, increases in nutrient deposition rates, and rising atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations. These environmental changes will likely grow larger, and their rate of change will likely accelerate in the coming decades. Plants, and the other organisms that depend on them, will be impacted by both average changes in these environmental conditions, such as increases in average temperatures, as well as the expected increases in the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme events, such as heat waves and drought. In general, it will be the increases in extreme climate events which will present the greatest challenge to plants, and thus to agriculture, natural ecosystems, and the economy. Understanding the mechanisms by which plants respond and adapt to these new environmental challenges is crucial, in order to develop adaptive strategies for maintaining agricultural productivity and ecosystem services.
In addition to water and carbon dioxide, plants require an array of inorganic mineral nutrients obtained primarily from the soil. Limited availability of these nutrients often constrains plant growth, reproduction, or survival, in both natural and agricultural systems. In agriculture, constraints on crop productivity from nutrient limitation are often minimized by providing added nutrients as fertilizer, but fertilizers can be prohibitively costly. In addition, the overuse of fertilizers often causes or contributes to environmental problems, such as eutrophication of aquatic systems, acid rain, global warming, and smog. Hence, the development of crops with lower nutrient requirements or increased nutrient-use efficiency is a continual goal. Importantly, it is clear that nutrient availability affects plant responses to other aspects of environmental change; however, and unfortunately, our knowledge in this area is inadequate.
In order to understand how crops and natural ecosystems will be impacted by these impending environmental changes, to adapt our agricultural enterprises, and to manage and protect our natural resources in response to these changes, we must increase the research in this arena. To raise awareness of, and stimulate research in, this field, this Research Topic will focus on how plant nutrition interacts with climate change to affect plant function.
We are especially interested in how nutrition interacts with the main climate-change factors (temperature, water, and CO2) to influence nutrient, carbon, or water relations. We welcome all types of articles (original research, method, opinion, and review), which may span the range from the molecular to the organismal level, and we are especially interested in articles which investigate mechanistic, or provide predictive, responses of plants to impending global environmental changes.
Keywords: Carbon Dioxide, Nutrients, Temperature, Water Availability
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.