Ecophysiology and Ecosystem Functioning


Ecophysiology - photosynthesis and transpirationStress physiology - application of chlorophyll fluorescenceEvapotranspiration measurementsGreenhouse experimentField work in NamibiaDetermination of chlrophyll content


Our research aim is to integrate ecological based results into ecosystem research. It is crucial to understand plant responses to combinations of water and nutrient availability for the development of sustainable plant production systems. Particular emphasis is put on interactions between plants and their environment and on plant performance, based on ecophysiological processes and soil-plant-atmosphere interactions. 


Environmental Plant Physiology

Ecophysiology represents the study of short-term acclimation and long-term adaptation of plants to changing environmental conditions. Understanding of these basic physiological processes and their response to biotic and abiotic stress is crutical for plant production. These includes photosynthesis, respiration, transpiration, water and mineral uptake. The analyses is based on measurements of ecophysiological parameters like leaf gas exchange, chlorophyll fluorescence, water-use efficiency, plant water status, and chemical analysis of plants and soils in controlled greenhouse experiments and field trials. The research range from physiological processes inside the plants to studies on soil-plant interactions within natural and agricultural ecosystems. There is considerable research effort in investigating plant growth and the fundamental ecophysiological mechanisms that plants use to cope with environmental stresses. Comprehensive field and controlled greenhouse experiments on photosynthesis, plant growth, water use efficiency, nutrient requirements, and effects on ecosystems processes are carried out.

A key question is the integration of plant ecophysiology into ecosystem functioning.  

The research is grouped in five main topics:

 (i): plant ecophysiology and abiotic stress, 

(ii): linking plant ecophysiology and ecosystem processes,

(iii): soil-plant-atmosphere processes, 

(iv) soil-plant feedbacks

(v): transpiration and water fluxes in agrosystems 

© Maik Veste 2017 - Update 14AUG2017                                          Impressum