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Description of research cluster CROPPING SYSTEMS

Much progress has been made in recent years on the understanding and modelling of crop growth and development processes including yield formation in response to soil and climatic conditions and management. Recent trends in crop physiology and modelling have much focused on integrating this knowledge with more detailed information about growth processes from the plant, organ and down to the gene level or with the upscaling to the farm, regional up to the global level. Accordingly, the up- (and down-) scaling of field level processes to the higher (and lower) levels of organization are of particular methodological importance.


For the crop science group at Bonn the following research areas are of particular interest:

  • Improved process-understanding (including modelling) of field crops. Processes that deserve particular attention are root growth and associated water and nitrogen uptake, leaf area dynamics, photosynthesis and transpiration and sink-source interactions. Obtained knowledge should improve the simulation of crop growth and yield under climate change, physiological stresses (imposed by water and nutrient limitation, heat stress) and effects of management.
  • Towards the more detailed levels of organization our work contributes to the better understanding (and modelling) of genotype x environment x management interactions (G x E x M) to support the development of improved crops. Advanced modelling techniques such as 3D modelling (e.g. for root and/or canopy development) will be utilized through cooperation with other research groups.
  • Utilization of Cooperations will also be established to groups working with
  • Towards the more integrated levels of organization process knowledge should integrate into the understanding (and modelling) of nutrient dynamics and fluxes of water vapour and CO2 at the level of agroecosystem at field and larger scales.


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