Sustainability database


Plant Stress Biology

In recent years concern has been growing about the consequences of global climate change caused by human emissions of CO2. This is predicted, in addition to causing a general warming of the planet, to cause an increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events (IPCC). Periods of drought and extreme temperature (high and low) and incidents of flooding are all liable to increase. This is of particular concern because of the likely impact on food production.

Even if average conditions are favourable for plant growth, even short periods of extreme conditions at crucial times on the growing season can stress plants, lowering crop yields. The aim of our research is to understand how plants are damaged when exposed to changing conditions and how stress tolerant plants are able to avoid that damage. The particular focus of our research is to understand the impact of stress on the process of photosynthesis. the photosynthetic apparatus is especially sensitive to environmental stress and is the source of most of the damage that can occur.




Dr Giles Johnson

Global climate change is resulting in changing weather patterns. For the UK, it is predicted that we will get warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers. At the same time, there will be an increase in the frequency of extreme weather, including periods of droughts and heat waves, but also more storms and floods. This, combined with growing demand for food across the world, means that agriculture is facing unprecedented challenges. The crops used by farmers will have to change.

Climate, Climate change, Carbon, Weather, Agriculture, Rural studies, Plants, Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Ecology, Environment, Sustainability, Teaching, Education


Dr Rachel Webster

Member of the university's Biodiversity group. Works at Manchester Museum's Herbarium.

Plants, Biology, Sustainability, Climate, Climate change, Environment, Biodiversity