701-1343-00L  Soil-Plant Water Relations

SemesterAutumn Semester 2021
LecturersA. Carminati
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractWater limitation is a primary constraint on plant growth and terrestrial fluxes worldwide. In this course, the principles of water flow in soil and plants are discussed, with particular attention on the effect of drought on root water uptake, transpiration and plant growth. Strategies of plants to tolerate drought are discussed.
ObjectiveThe students are able to: explain and compare systematically the drivers of water stress to plants; to solve the equations of water flow in soil and plants and to calculate plant water status for varying pedoclimatic conditions and plant traits; to critically review and present one research question in soil-plant water relations; to openly debate on the current trends in soil and plant water research.
Content24.09: Introduction.
01.10: Soil water relations; Principles of soil water retention and soil water flow; Soil hydraulic properties.
08.10: Root water uptake; soil hydraulic constraints on transpiration
15.10: Rhizosphere processes and properties; root-soil contact; root hairs; mycorrhiza; rhizodeposition.
22.10: Water flow in roots and xylem; root anatomy, architecture and plasticity; cavitation.
29.10: Transpiration; Vapor Pressure Deficit; Photosynthesis; Stomatal regulation.
05.11: Soil-plant-atmospheric continuum; Below- and above-ground feedbacks; Soil and atmospheric drivers of transpiration losses.
12.11: Modelling Soil-Plant Water Relations (Concept)
19.11: Modelling Soil-Plant Water Relations (Implementation)
26.11: Plant response to drought and consequences for agriculture and forests. Open questions and introduction to seminar topics.
03.12: Group work in the class
10.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
17.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
24.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
LiteratureLecture notes; selection of articles
Prerequisites / NoticeVadose Zone Hydrology/Environmental Soil Physics (recommended but not required)