Special Issue "Plant Adaptation to Climate Change"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. James A. Bunce
Website
Guest Editor
Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory (retired), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
Interests: photosynthesis; plant water relations; climate change; elevated CO2; water stress; high temperature stress; plant adaptation to environment
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Earth’s climate, and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, have changed significantly since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Europe, and are projected to continue changing. In addition to changes in temperature and CO2, ozone concentrations, and drought and flooding frequencies have changed or will probably change. Besides having important direct effects on plants, these changes may affect adaptive responses of plants, both crop and non-crop, to the altered environment. Many innovative exposure systems have now been developed to quantify plant responses to global change conditions. This Special Issue aims to assess current understanding of what heritable attributes of plants have already changed or likely will change as plants adapt or are adapted by breeding programs to these environmental changes.

Dr. James A. Bunce
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Global warming
  • CO2 concentration
  • Heat stress
  • Water stress
  • Adaptation
  • Crop physiology
  • Crop breeding

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Evidence of Adaptation to Recent Changes in Atmospheric CO2 in Four Weedy Species
Plants 2018, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants7010012 - 19 Feb 2018
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
Seeds of three C3 and one C4 annual weedy species were collected from agricultural fields in Beltsville, Maryland in 1966 and 2006, when atmospheric CO2 concentrations averaged about 320 and 380 mol mol−1, respectively. Plants from each collection [...] Read more.
Seeds of three C3 and one C4 annual weedy species were collected from agricultural fields in Beltsville, Maryland in 1966 and 2006, when atmospheric CO2 concentrations averaged about 320 and 380 mol mol−1, respectively. Plants from each collection year were grown over a range of CO2 concentrations to test for adaptation of these weedy species to recent changes in atmospheric CO2. In all three of the C3 species, the increase in CO2 concentration from 320 mol mol−1 to 380 mol mol−1 increased total dry mass at 24 days in plants from seeds collected in 2006, but not in plants from seeds collected in 1966. Shoot and seed dry mass at maturity was greater at the higher growth CO2 in plants collected in 2006 than in 1966 in two of the species. Down-regulation of photosynthetic carboxylation capacity during growth at high CO2 was less in the newer seed lots than in the older in two of the species. Overall, the results indicate that adaptation to recent changes in atmospheric CO2 has occurred in some of these weedy species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Climate Change)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Climate Modelling Shows Increased Risk to Eucalyptus sideroxylon on the Eastern Coast of Australia Compared to Eucalyptus albens
Plants 2017, 6(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040058 - 24 Nov 2017
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2492
Abstract
Aim: To identify the extent and direction of range shift of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and E. albens in Australia by 2050 through an ensemble forecast of four species distribution models (SDMs). Each was generated using four global climate models (GCMs), under two representative concentration [...] Read more.
Aim: To identify the extent and direction of range shift of Eucalyptus sideroxylon and E. albens in Australia by 2050 through an ensemble forecast of four species distribution models (SDMs). Each was generated using four global climate models (GCMs), under two representative concentration pathways (RCPs). Location: Australia. Methods: We used four SDMs of (i) generalized linear model, (ii) MaxEnt, (iii) random forest, and (iv) boosted regression tree to construct SDMs for species E. sideroxylon and E. albens under four GCMs including (a) MRI-CGCM3, (b) MIROC5, (c) HadGEM2-AO and (d) CCSM4, under two RCPs of 4.5 and 6.0. Here, the true skill statistic (TSS) index was used to assess the accuracy of each SDM. Results: Results showed that E. albens and E. sideroxylon will lose large areas of their current suitable range by 2050 and E. sideroxylon is projected to gain in eastern and southeastern Australia. Some areas were also projected to remain suitable for each species between now and 2050. Our modelling showed that E. sideroxylon will lose suitable habitat on the western side and will not gain any on the eastern side because this region is one the most heavily populated areas in the country, and the populated areas are moving westward. The predicted decrease in E. sideroxylon’s distribution suggests that land managers should monitor its population closely, and evaluate whether it meets criteria for a protected legal status. Main conclusions: Both Eucalyptus sideroxylon and E. albens will be negatively affected by climate change and it is projected that E. sideroxylon will be at greater risk of losing habitat than E. albens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Climate Change)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Diffusive and Metabolic Constraints to Photosynthesis in Quinoa during Drought and Salt Stress
Plants 2017, 6(4), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040049 - 17 Oct 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2980
Abstract
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been proposed as a hardy alternative to traditional grain crops in areas with warm-to-hot climates that are likely to experience increased drought and salt stress in the future. We characterised the diffusive and metabolic limitations to photosynthesis [...] Read more.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) has been proposed as a hardy alternative to traditional grain crops in areas with warm-to-hot climates that are likely to experience increased drought and salt stress in the future. We characterised the diffusive and metabolic limitations to photosynthesis in quinoa exposed to drought and salt stress in isolation and combination. Drought-induced pronounced stomatal and mesophyll limitations to CO2 transport, but quinoa retained photosynthetic capacity and photosystem II (PSII) performance. Saline water (300 mmol NaCl-equivalent to 60% of the salinity of sea-water) supplied in identical volumes to the irrigation received by the control and drought treatments induced similar reductions in stomatal and mesophyll conductance, but also reduced carboxylation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, regeneration of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate, increased non-photochemical dissipation of energy as heat and impaired PSII electron transport. This suggests that ion toxicity reduced PN via interference with photosynthetic enzymes and degradation of pigment–protein complexes within the thylakoid membranes. The results of this study demonstrate that the photosynthetic physiology of quinoa is resistant to the effects of drought, but quinoa may not be a suitable crop for areas subject to strong salt stress or irrigation with a concentration of saline water equivalent to a 300 mmol NaCl solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle
Variation in Yield Responses to Elevated CO2 and a Brief High Temperature Treatment in Quinoa
Plants 2017, 6(3), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6030026 - 05 Jul 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2374
Abstract
Intraspecific variation in crop responses to global climate change conditions would provide opportunities to adapt crops to future climates. These experiments explored intraspecific variation in response to elevated CO2 and to high temperature during anthesis in Chenopodium quinoa Wild. Three cultivars of [...] Read more.
Intraspecific variation in crop responses to global climate change conditions would provide opportunities to adapt crops to future climates. These experiments explored intraspecific variation in response to elevated CO2 and to high temperature during anthesis in Chenopodium quinoa Wild. Three cultivars of quinoa were grown to maturity at 400 (“ambient”) and 600 (“elevated”) μmol·mol−1 CO2 concentrations at 20/14 °C day/night (“control”) temperatures, with or without exposure to day/night temperatures of 35/29 °C (“high” temperatures) for seven days during anthesis. At control temperatures, the elevated CO2 concentration increased the total aboveground dry mass at maturity similarly in all cultivars, but by only about 10%. A large down-regulation of photosynthesis at elevated CO2 occurred during grain filling. In contrast to shoot mass, the increase in seed dry mass at elevated CO2 ranged from 12% to 44% among cultivars at the control temperature. At ambient CO2, the week-long high temperature treatment greatly decreased (0.30 × control) or increased (1.70 × control) seed yield, depending on the cultivar. At elevated CO2, the high temperature treatment increased seed yield moderately in all cultivars. These quinoa cultivars had a wide range of responses to both elevated CO2 and to high temperatures during anthesis, and much more variation in harvest index responses to elevated CO2 than other crops that have been examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Climate Change)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Surviving a Dry Future: Abscisic Acid (ABA)-Mediated Plant Mechanisms for Conserving Water under Low Humidity
Plants 2017, 6(4), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants6040054 - 04 Nov 2017
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6099
Abstract
Angiosperms are able to respond rapidly to the first sign of dry conditions, a decrease in air humidity, more accurately described as an increase in the vapor pressure deficit between the leaf and the atmosphere (VPD), by abscisic acid (ABA)-mediated stomatal closure. The [...] Read more.
Angiosperms are able to respond rapidly to the first sign of dry conditions, a decrease in air humidity, more accurately described as an increase in the vapor pressure deficit between the leaf and the atmosphere (VPD), by abscisic acid (ABA)-mediated stomatal closure. The genes underlying this response offer valuable candidates for targeted selection of crop varieties with improved drought tolerance, a critical goal for current plant breeding programs, to maximize crop production in drier and increasingly marginalized environments, and meet the demands of a growing population in the face of a changing climate. Here, we review current understanding of the genetic mechanisms underpinning ABA-mediated stomatal closure, a key means for conserving water under dry conditions, examine how these mechanisms evolved, and discuss what remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Adaptation to Climate Change)
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