Showing results for: Plant/crop science
This chapter by Elias Fereres and Francisco J. Villalobos in the book Principles of Agronomy for Sustainable Agriculture argues that sustainable intensification of production would be best achieved through continuous, small productivity improvements rather than through a few revolutionary discoveries, at least in the medium term.
This paper by researchers in the US and Australia reports the findings of a long-term field-trial-based investigation into the effect of elevated carbon dioxide concentrations (CO2) on soy yield and drought tolerance. Their findings challenge the widely-held belief that crop yield will be increased by elevated CO2 (the so-called CO2 fertilisation effect) both because of increased photosynthetic rate, and because of lower susceptibility to drought: it has long been assumed that in higher CO2 conditions, stomatal conductance will be lower, leading to slower water loss from the leaves, slower water uptake from the roots, and consequently more moisture remaining in the soil for longer, thereby sustaining crops in limited rainfall.
A paper published in the journal Cell argues that the current rate of increase in crop yields is insufficient to meet business-as-usual anticipated growth in demand for food (it cites one projection that the world will need 85% more primary foodstuffs by 2050, relative to 2013).
This new book addresses how the collective pooling and management of shared plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can be supported through laws regulating access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use.
The cross-research council Food Security website reports on the findings of a team from the University of Cambridge and Rothamsted Research. This team has identified a family of genes that could help us breed grasses with improved properties for diet and bioenergy.