About the book
Nowadays, the agricultural sector is facing concomitant challenges of rising productivity to feed the growing global population and increasing the input use efficiency, while reducing the environmental impact on the ecosystems and human health. For the last couple of decades, several technological innovations have been proposed to enhance the sustainability of agricultural production systems through a significant reduction of synthetic agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. A promising and environmentally friendly innovation would be the use of natural plant biostimulants (PBs) that enhance plant growth and development. PBs are specified on the basis of agricultural function claims, and include diverse bioactive natural substances:
1. Humic and fulvic acids
2. Animal and vegetal protein hydrolysates
3. Macroalgae seaweeds extracts
4. Beneficial microorganisms, etc.
The elucidation of the agricultural function (i.e. improving nutrient use efficiency, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stresses) and action mechanisms of PBs will permit to develop a second generation of PBs where synergies and complementary mechanisms can be functionally designed to feed the future.