Plant Stress: Understanding and Managing Abiotic Stress Challenges

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Plant Stress: Understanding and Managing Abiotic Stress Challenges

Stress is an external condition that can seriously affect the growth, development and productivity of plants. There are two main categories of stress: biotic stress, caused by living organisms such as viruses and plant-eating (Phytophagous) organisms, and abiotic stress, caused by environmental factors such as salinity, drought, extreme climate conditions and pollution. In this article, we will focus on abiotic stress and its impacts on plants, as well as strategies that serve to mitigate these effects.

Abiotic Stress: A Challenge for Plants

Unlike biotic stress triggered by living organisms, abiotic stress results from non-living factors, however its impact remains powerful. When plants are exposed to abiotic stress, they trigger responses of different levels, both in their aboveground and underground parts.

Responses to Abiotic Stress: Cellular and Molecular Levels

Plant response to abiotic stress involves changes on the cellular and molecular levels. This results in alterations in gene expression and reduced protein synthesis, particularly when subjected to high heat stress.

Salinity: A Major Challenge for Plants

Salt stress, also called salinity stress, is a major problem that affects plant growth and health. It occurs when salt levels in the soil become excessively high, making it difficult for plants to absorb water and essential nutrients via their roots. Glycophytic plants, which are sensitive to salinity, are vulnerable to this type of stress, while halophytic plants, that are adapted to saline environments, have developed mechanisms to tolerate these conditions.

Water Stress: The Impact of Lack of Water

Water stress occurs when a plant’s demand for water exceeds its water supply through absorption. This can result from drought, lack of water in the soil, or excessive water use by the plant. Xerophytic plants, adapted to arid environments, have evolved to minimize water loss, while mesophytic plants thrive in conditions that exhibit moderate water availability, and ombrophilous plants thrive in humid environments.

Management of Salt and Water Stress

To mitigate the effects of salt and water stress, it is essential to manage the quantity and quality of the irrigation water. Using special products, such as those containing amino acids like Bombardier, can also play a crucial role in reducing stress and increasing production. The application ratio is 1000ml/dunum using the irrigation method.

To conclude, plants face various types of abiotic stress that can seriously hamper their growth and productivity. Understanding these environmental challenges and implementing appropriate management strategies are essential to promoting plant health and ensuring successful harvests. Stay tuned for the rest of this series, where we will further explore subjects related to climate stress and other challenges impacting our precious plants.

By Eng. Mounir Abi Fadel

Maryse Bou Zeid

mbouzeid@debbaneagri.com

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