The IPNC’13 XVII. International Plant Nutrition Colloquium was held in Istanbul from 19th to 22nd of August, focussing on “Plant Nutrition for Nutrient and Food Security”. Scientists from the Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition contributed a presentation in the section “Nutrient Cycling, Ecosystems and Climate Change”, along with two static displays.
State of scientific knowledge regarding the avoidance of nitrous oxide emissions
Prof. Dr. Klaus Dittert, Scientific Director at the IAPN, gave a presentation entitled: “N-fertilizer related nitrous oxide emissions – what we know, what we could do”, in which he summarized the current scientific knowledge regarding the avoidance of nitrous oxide emissions when using nitrogen-based fertilizers. “Today there is a number of measures available for farmers in order to reduce N-fertilizer related N2O emissions. However in the past and in future improving the N use efficiency is a key measure“, said Dittert. „In our research we have been cooperating quite successfully with other groups in the field of intra-molecular N isotope signatures. This new methodology gives valuable insights into microbial N2O formation and, we are confident that, it will help us developing new mitigation measures.”
First test results relating to water-usage efficiency
Junior Professor Mehmet Senbayram and colleagues presented the first results from the experiments carried out in the recently established IAPN greenhouse. The poster presentation entitled “Nitrogen Supply Enhances Intrinsic but Not Biomass Water Use Efficiency” focused on the key topic of crop drought tolerance, which is the major research subject of IAPN. “Water use efficiency of higher plants is a complex research subject”, explained Prof. Senbayram. “Our first data showed that nitrogen supply increased the photosynthesis and efficiency of transpiration during the day. However, the latter also increased night time water loss (measured by thermal imaging) thus nitrogen supply did not affect biomass-water-use efficiency.”
Building contacts and connecting knowledge
Alongside the presentation of scientific findings, the International Plant Nutrition Colloquium provided excellent opportunities to make new international contacts and further raise the profile of the IAPN. “Alongside research, the pooling and disseminating of scientific understanding is a central aim of the IAPN”, said Dittert. “We also use events like the IPNC to get to know up-and-coming scientists, and to present the IAPN as an interesting location for anyone considering coming to Germany to conduct research.”
In the not-too-distant future, the IAPN will itself be organizing an important forum for the exchange of scientific knowledge. At the beginning of November 2014, leading scientists in the field of plant nutrition, food quality and human health will be gathering at the 2nd International Symposium on Magnesium in São Paulo, Brazil. The Symposium was officially announced at the IPNC.