Although the fact that our climate and global weather patterns are changing is now widely accepted, the ways in which agricultural crop production might be adapted to meet this challenge is much less certain, particularly with regard to an increased frequency of associated extreme weather events, such as drought and flooding. It is predicted that there will be a large increase in food demand in coming decades to meet the increasing demands of a growing world population. The need to enhance plant performance and crop productivity in the face of climate change is therefore one of the most important issues of our time.
Addressing key issues directly, this volume brings together review and original research articles from experts in plant science, plant breeding and crop modelling considering topics ranging from the plasticity of plant genome, its regulation in relation to climate change to the requirements of plant breeding for increasing agricultural productivity while decreasing the ecological and water footprint. While the contents of this volume highlight the importance of joined up thinking in research and innovation activities from a global food security perspective, the central roles of basic plant science and crop modelling in supporting plant breeding, are emphasised, as well as technologies and innovation required to achieve productivity gains and sustainable agricultural production. This volume provides an interesting and useful compilation of current research topics, concepts and perspectives in a field of growing importance.
The interdisciplinary content of this volume not only provides new information but also includes thoughtful and inspiring perspectives concerning how plants might be bred to cope with the challenges of climate change. Thanks go to the Association of Applied Biologists, Africa College at the University of Leeds and the Modelling European Agriculture with Climate Change for Food Security (MACSUR) Knowledge Hub (http://macsur.eu/) for making this volume possible.
Professor Christine H Foyer
Centre of Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK