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Jochem Evers and Xinyou Yin from the Center for Crop System Analysis at Wageningen University, Wageningen, the Netherlands

Exploring plant-plant interactions in mixed-species stands using functional-structural plant modelling (Evers)

Can improvement in leaf photosynthesis increase crop productivity? (Xinyous)

21.06.2016 11:00 Uhr
21.06.2016 14:30 Uhr
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Gebäude 06.2 IBG-2, Seminarraum 406, 2.Stock

Abstract (Evers):
Diversity in species has been shown to contribute to the functioning of both natural and agricultural systems, in terms of e.g. productivity, disease resistance and climate resilience. In light of the increasing concerns about synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and the ensuing restrictions on their use, these diversity effects may provide an important complimentary means to sustainably increase crop production. Yet, the mechanisms that drive the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning and how such mechanisms can be utilized in agricultural systems remains poorly understood. In this presentation I will show how a simulation method known as functional-structural plant modelling, in which plant growth and development driven by its direct environment is simulated in 3D, can be used to analyse mechanisms responsible for performance of mixed-species stands.

Abstract (Xinyous):
To ensure food and energy security for a growing and increasingly demanding population, crop production will have to grow, with higher rates of increase than the current rate to guard against negative contingencies as a result of global climate change. Genetic improvement in crop productivity could be made either from exploiting natural genetic variation by conventional breeding or from genetic engineering and synthetic biology approaches. My presentation will show how the mechanistic crop model GECROS can be used to investigate the potential impact of exploiting natural genetic variation and genetic engineering of biochemical components in leaf photosynthesis on rice productivity under diverse environmental conditions. It was shown that to supercharge crop productivity, exploring a combination of routes in improving CO2-concentrating mechanisms, photosynthetic capacity and quantum efficiency was required.

Contact person: Hendrik Poorter, Johannes Postma