Climate change and extreme climate events affect all aspects of plant growth and function, including managed and native ecosystems. Here, I describe some of our research on the effects of elevated CO2, rising temperatures, floods and droughts on cotton productivity and physiological processes. We also highlight the importance of multiple factor experiments, address the role of plant-soil feedbacks, and ecological memory as important tools in predicting plant response to current and future climates. I will also give a short update on our work growing vegetables in high-tech hydroponic glasshouses, using Smart Glass to reduce energy costs, representing future food systems for a growing population.
David Tissue is Distinguished Professor in the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University in Australia. His well-travelled educational (BSc at McGill University, Canada; MSc at San Diego State University, USA; PhD at University of California, Los Angeles), early career (post-docs at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama and Duke University, USA) and mid-career (Professor at Texas Tech University; sabbatical at Landcare, New Zealand) experiences eventually led to his move to Australia in 2007, where he works on the physiological and growth responses of crops and native vegetation to climate change. Current research addresses the main and interactive effects of climate drivers (CO2 and temperature) and extreme climate events (heatwaves, droughts and flood) on plants, exploring the impacts on carbon and water exchange, physiological processes, productivity, and drought-induced mortality. Recently, he became scientific research director for the National Vegetable Protected Cropping Centre and theme leader for Agriculture and Food Sciences at WSU, where he conducts work on food production in high-tech hydroponic facilities.
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