Climate change is affecting all four dimensions of food security: food availability, food accessibility, food utilization, and food systems stability. It is also affecting human health, livelihood assets, food production, and distribution channels, as well as changing purchasing power and market flows. Keeping in view, the present chapter is focusing mostly on biochar. Biochar is usually produced by pyrolysis of biomass at around temperature range of 300–600°C. It is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon emissions. Present agriculture is leading mining of nutrients and reduction in soil organic matter levels through repetitive harvesting of crops. The most widespread solution to this depletion is the application of soil amendments in the form of fertilizers containing the three major nutrients. The nitrogen is considered the most limiting nutrient for plant growth useful for protein builds, structures, hormones, chlorophyll, vitamins, and enzymes. Biochar may be added to soils to improve soil health, improve soil fertility, and sequester carbon. However, the variable application rates, uncertain feedstock effects, and initial soil state provide a wide range of cost for marginally improved yield from biochar additions, which is often economically impracticable. There is a need for further research on optimizing biochar application to improve crop yields.
Part of the book: Applications of Biochar for Environmental Safety
Plants respond to various stresses during their lifecycle among which abiotic stress is the most severe one comprising heat, cold, drought, salinity, flooding, etc. which take a heavy toll on crop yield worldwide in every corresponding year. ROS has a dual role in abiotic stress mechanisms where, at high levels, they are toxic to cells while at the same time, the same molecule can function as a signal transducer that activates a local as well as a systemic plant defense response against stress. The most common ROS species are Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), Superoxide anions (O2-), Hydroxyl radicals (OH-), and Singlet oxygen (1O2) which are results of physiological metabolism often controlled by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant defense systems. ROS generally accumulate in plants during abiotic and biotic stress conditions resulting in oxidative damage which ultimately leads to programmed cell death. Many ROS scavenging pathways have been well studied against stress responses. Through careful manipulation of ROS levels in plants, we can enhance stress tolerance in plants under unfavorable environmental conditions. This chapter presents an overview of ROS regulation in plants and the essential enzymes involved in the abiotic stress tolerance mechanisms which are thoroughly discussed below.
Part of the book: Reactive Oxygen Species