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Institute of Bio- and Geosciences

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Research Area
Ecosystem Dynamics / Shoot Dynamics

We aim to improve our scientific (biological) understanding of plant shoot functioning and dynamic shoot traits from the leaf to the canopy, which will provide the basis to optimize plant production. Our special focus is on understanding of the regulatory properties of photosynthesis, the mechanisms of leaf and canopy water content and transpiration as well as the dynamics in shoot architecture in crops. For this we use and further develop optical phenotyping methods, fluorescence techniques, thermal methods as well as molecular and biochemical approaches. We apply our manual and automated approaches from the level of single leaves and plants in the laboratory and greenhouse to the canopy and field scale and finally in the frame of the FLEX satellite mission to the globe.

In our group with currently about 30 members we span the spatial scales from the leaf to the field and the globe. Fluorescence techniques are the main approach that allows us to link processes across a wide range of scales.

Special focus is on

Mechanistic understanding of the regulatory properties of carotenoid biosynthesis and the dynamics of non-photochemical energy dissipation (PD Dr. Shizue Matsubara)
Non-invasive field phenotyping to better understand and link leaf photosynthesis and transport processes to canopy functioning (Dr. Onno Muller)
Proximity and remote sensing for a better understanding of the spatio-temporal dynamics of photosynthesis by using hyperspectral and sun-induced fluorescence techniques (Prof. Dr. Uwe Rascher)