Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Plant scientists contribute to meet increasing demand for fresh water

Alistair M. Hetherington, Editor-in-Chief  of 'New Phytologist' has mentioned in the forthcoming issue, (Volume 197, Issue 1January 2013 how plant scientists contribute to mitigate the demand of 30% increase (by 2030) for fresh water. Following are some of the fundamental research output in relation to  plant-water biology described by him which can help us to meet the demand for fresh water in future .
  • Discovery and exploitation  of drought avoidance, escape startegies, and reduced water tolerance ability adopted by plant species. [Reference Article : Franks SJ. 2011. Plasticity and evolution in drought avoidance and escape in the annual plant Brassica rapa. New Phytologist 190: 249257 ]
  • Understanding the mechanisms capable of detecting and responding to highly localized sources of water by certain plant species. [Reference Article: Salguero-G√≥mez R, Casper BB. 2011. Introducing short roots in a desert perennial: anatomy and spatiotemporal foraging responses to increased precipitation. New Phytologist 191: 173183 ]
  • Understanding the strategies how stomata balance the potentially conflicting demands to open and permit carbon dioxide uptake while concomitantly restricting water loss. [Reference Article: Vico G, Manzoni S, Palmroth S, Katul G. 2011. Effects of stomatal delays on the economics of leaf gas exchange under intermittent light regimes. New Phytologist 192: 640652 ]
In his concluding remarks he writes,
 "the introduction of a new trait such as the ‘short root’ into crop species or the manipulation of water usage through modifying stomatal development or function would have looked fanciful".
These are some of the indicative areas which will be further refined by plant scientists to understand the plant-water relationship in a more effective and efficient way and the advancement of the same may be applied to mitigate the increasing demand for fresh water in future.

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