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Improving water use in crop production

Morison, JIL and Baker, NR and Mullineaux, PM and Davies, WJ (2008) 'Improving water use in crop production.' Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363 (1491). 639 - 658. ISSN 0962-8452

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Abstract

Globally, agriculture accounts for 80-90% of all freshwater used by humans, and most of that is in crop production. In many areas, this water use is unsustainable; water supplies are also under pressure from other users and are being affected by climate change. Much effort is being made to reduce water use by crops and produce 'more crop per drop'. This paper examines water use by crops, taking particularly a physiological viewpoint, examining the underlying relationships between carbon uptake, growth and water loss. Key examples of recent progress in both assessing and improving crop water productivity are described. It is clear that improvements in both agronomic and physiological understanding have led to recent increases in water productivity in some crops. We believe that there is substantial potential for further improvements owing to the progress in understanding the physiological responses of plants to water supply, and there is considerable promise within the latest molecular genetic approaches, if linked to the appropriate environmental physiology. We conclude that the interactions between plant and environment require a team approach looking across the disciplines from genes to plants to crops in their particular environments to deliver improved water productivity and contribute to sustainability. © 2007 The Royal Society.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Biological Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 14:54
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/765

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