Skip main navigation

Case Study: Plant Responses to Water Logging

Plant responses to water logging.
Tractor ploughing a field
© QUB
Water logging causes oxygen restrictive conditions which dramatically affect plant growth, development and survival. Plants which have endured these conditions have adapted important survival traits.
In European countries, most crop species have a degree of resistance to water logging as this is a characteristic of their habitat. Studies have revealed many plants which have been subjected to root anoxia have responded by inducing aerenchymae (i.e. a spongy tissue connecting shoots to allow the exchange of gases and reduce the loss of oxygen from roots through radial oxygen loss).
These adaptive mechanisms are important traits to consider for breeding or selecting water logging resistant crops. Other key traits include:
  • Roots able to withstand high levels of toxic ions (primarily species of Aluminium, Iron and Magnesium mobilised under reduced soil conditions
  • The ability to recover from anaerobic respiration and its toxic metabolites.

Field Management

Field management is the strategies used to counteract the negative impacts of water logging on horticulture. A number of management strategies have been suggested, including:
Crop quality may affect value and sustainability. Thus, it is a priority that impact of climate change conditions on relevant parameters are understood and managed.

What we would like you to do

Please conduct your own ‘internet scavenger hunt’ to find out more about the potential effects climate change will have on soil health.
Summarise and share your findings with your fellow learners in the comments section below.
© QUB
This article is from the free online

Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Environment

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education