Types of crop stress

Climatic factors

Cold, heat, drought, frost, hail...

The most notable climatic factors that affect plant stress are those caused by low temperatures (cold stress, frost stress) and those caused by high temperatures (heat shock stress).

Below or above a certain temperature, depending on the plant, plants suffer severe damage that limits their optimal functioning.

Type of stress in crops - Climate

Climate factors directly affect crop production

Exposure to cold paralyses enzyme activities and induces a decrease in the fluidity of the cellular membranes. As such, water and nutrient transport through the membranes can be affected and the plant may stop producing. If there is a sudden, intense drop in temperature, the plant runs the risk of freezing, with ice crystals forming within the cells, which will cause the cell to be severely dehydrated.

Prolonged exposure to extremely high temperatures damages the cells by due to the inactivation of enzymes and denaturing of proteins, which induces an increase in the fluidity of the cellular membranes. In other words, the permeability of solutes through the membranes is affected. Heat also intensifies plant respiration with regards to photosynthesis, which can cause paralysed growth.

Scheme climatic factors in stress plant

Water stress can be due to the lack of water (drought) or due to excess water (root asphyxia)

In the Mediterranean climate, the warm summers not only stand out due to their high temperatures, but also because they usually are accompanied by strong droughts.
The well-known water stress can be due to the lack of water (drought) as well as due to an excess of it (root asphyxia). As an example, the first occurs when the plant transpires more water than it absorbs. One of its first signs is the loss of cellular turgor pressure, which leads to cell dehydration, closure of the stomata and decreased photosynthetic capacity.

Lastly are the physical damages caused by climatic agents such as wind and hail, which cause partial or total ruptures in the plant with the subsequent production delays or losses that this entails.

Types of crop stress: climatic factors

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