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Majken Deichmann

PhD Student

Majken Deichmann

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Title: The influence of waterlogging on wheat productivity, physiology and nutrient status 

Description:

Climate changes predictions indicate an increase and changes in the current precipitation patterns globally, where areas already receive large amounts of precipitation are more likely to receive even more rain in the future. Global wheat production reached 749 million tons in 2016 making wheat one of the main crops worldwide, with an expected increase in the production area. Accordingly, wheat production often suffers from partial waterlogging (hypoxia) and complete waterlogging (anoxia)  resulting in global reports of wheat yield decreases in the range between 10-50%. The substantial reduction in yield for wheat alone indicating that waterlogging currently presents a severe challenge to the agricultural production.  Even more so when climate predictions suggest that more precipitation is expected in many of these areas. Thus waterlogging is and continually will be a more considerable challenge for crop production.

In both China and Denmark, wheat is one of the major crops representing respectively 23% (12620.8 104 ton) and 50 % (502.9 104 ton) of the total cereal production, and both China (The Yangtze river delta) and Denmark already receive large amounts of precipitation of respectively 1102 mm year-1 and 712 mm year-1 making these areas vulnerable to waterlogging. In the Yangtze Delta of China, there have already been reported decreases of winter wheat yield due to anoxia. However, this is not the case in Denmark at the moment, but with the climate predictions and the introduction of new nitrogen (N) management tools like controlled drainage, which increases the water table in fields creating hypoxic conditions, it enhances the probability that complete waterlogging can occur. Besides, hypoxia has long been a challenge for the winter wheat production in the United Kingdomes, why the induced hypoxia created under controlled drainage might present a problem for the wheat production under Danish conditions as well. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate how waterlogging be it hypoxia or anoxia will affect plant development both now and in the future for both countries.

In addition to the influence waterlogging has on yields, it has also been reported to affect the soil redox conditions, and thus the availability and uptake of multiple nutrients like N, Iron (Fe) and Manganese (Mn). Thus waterlogging can also influence the plant nutrient status. So not only do waterlogging affects plants directly, but it can also have long-term effects on the environmental conditions which should be taken into consideration. It is, therefore, necessary to evaluate how waterlogging affects nutrient uptake in plants, but also the long-term effects which might follow from it. 

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