NPLK14018U Climate Management in Plant Production and Research

Volume 2014/2015
MSc Programme in Agriculture

The course is divided in several topics that are taught by experts of each field. When possible theoretical lectures are combined with practical exercises.

Topics during the course:
- Sensors for climate registration and crop monitoring (phytomonitoring and biosensors).

- Climate management in field production (mulching, use of plastic, windbreak, spectral changes, frost protection, irrigation etc.).

- Climate management in greenhouse (cover material, heating, vents, CO2 injection, screens, artificial light, irrigation etc.).

- Climate management for control of pests, diseases, quality, elongation growth and other plant processes.

- Climate manipulations for ecophysiological studies on population and ecosystem level

- Traditional versus dynamic climate control based on photosynthesis models, and how the latter can be used to optimize plant production.

- Throughout the course the students will be responsible for a climate experiment in the greenhouse.

In these topics crop physiology and ecophysiology will be linked to applied plant production.

Learning Outcome

The aim of the course is to give an understanding of how plant physiology on crop level can be applied in plant production and ecophysiological studies, with the technical solutions available for adjusting the climate in greenhouses and in the field.

The course follows two interlinking lines: 1) climate physics and how to manage the climate by the techniques available in field and greenhouse production and ecosystem studies, and 2) the plant responses we want to regulate by the climate management. This includes crop physiology of the wide variety of species used as horticultural crops. Since they include both vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants originating from all corners of the world, a wide variety of ecophysiological adaptations of plants will be covered, including plants having C3, C4 as well as CAM type of photosynthesis.

Greenhouse production includes the technique of using elevated CO2 concentration to promote growth. Therefore the course will also give insights into the future climate scenario with elevated CO2, which is an important part of the global climate change and Danish in situ investigations of the effect of climate change on ecosystems are included.


- Present an overview of how the major climate factors are controlled in field and greenhouse production and how they are measured

- Describe the physical properties of the most important climate factors and how they interact

- Describe and quantify how photosynthesis responds to the major climate factors

- Describe how climate is managed in the horticultural industry

- Describe how the climate can be manipulated in research on ecosystem level.

- Discuss the effect of the major climate factors on plant production and quality
- Explain the interaction between the major climate factors on the physiological level when affecting photosynthesis
- Analyse the effect of the balance between climate optimization and stress on plant quality
- Analyse the possibilities for improving current climate management
- Discuss, analyse and evaluate the production of horticultural crops from both a technical and climatic point of view

- Analyse and reflect on the relative importance of the choices made by the grower and the horticultural industry with regard to management to obtain an optimal productivity and minimal environmental load.

Climate management in horticulture. Aaslyng et al. 2005. Compendium, KVL. Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Greenhouse Climate Control: An Integrated Approach. Bakker et al. (Editor). Wageningen Academic Publishers. ISBN:9074134173

The physiology of crop yield. Hay and Porter, 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford. ISBN-10: 1-4051-0859-2. Selected chapters will be used in this course. The remaining chapters will be covered in the course Physiology of Crop Yield.

The course requires basic knowledge of plant physiology on graduate level. Knowledge about plant production systems will be an advantage.
The course consists of theoretical lectures, practical exercises, theoretical exercises and excursions. The exercises are performed within groups of 2-4 students. Exercise reports are worked out individually. Included education methods are case studies, computer analyses, colloquia, problem based learning, lectures, practical exercises and several visits to commercial companies. This course has a substantial part ´hands on´ experience where students perform practical work including cases taken from practical horticultural production. Through the entire length of the course the students will run a greenhouse climate experiment and the exercises will utilize the climates used and plants produced in the experiment.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Colloquia
  • 10
  • Excursions
  • 15
  • Guidance
  • 15
  • Lectures
  • 36
  • Practical exercises
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 89
  • Project work
  • 15
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
Written assignment
Assessment of four individual exercise reports and oral presentations
Exam registration requirements
The exercise reports have to be delivered in time before the oral examination.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assesment

Four exercise reports: 30%
Oral examination: 70 %