Environmental stress has regulated the function, morphology, and diversity of cells, organs, individuals and plant communities. The interaction of plants with the stress-inducing environments has produced in the plants a set of adaptive responses that can be studied in different description scopes: from organelles and subcellular structures to the level of plant communities. When it occurs for short time or low intensity, environmental stress can induce hardening, followed by induction of tolerance; on the other hand, when the plant´s reaction is for a long time or responding to a significant stress intensity, the response of plants includes decreased growth, depletion of metabolic reserves and loss of productivity and yield, even reaching the death of plants. Current knowledge about these crop responses can be translated into agronomic practices aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of environmental stress. This chapter will present the mechanisms of response and adaptation of crop plants to the environmental factors that most commonly cause crop damage or yield loss: high and low temperature, salinity, water deficit and nutrient deficits. Agronomic practices aimed at modifying or balancing some of the environmental factors involved and the use of tolerance induction techniques are described.
Part of the book: Plant, Abiotic Stress and Responses to Climate Change