The research at the Department of Vegetable Crops focuses on plant water relations and irrigation, product quality and the impact of climate change on vegetable production. We primarily work with field experiments and combine these with system modelling. Our scientific findings serve the development of innovative technologies and resource-saving cultivation systems.
The goal of controllability of vegetable quality by cultivation measures is experimentally pursued in studies on chemical composition and on sensory evaluation of products. In addition, testing and evaluation of non-destructive analysis of quality parameters through spectroscopic methods is our field of work.
Plant water relations in the context of a resource-efficient irrigation scheduling are the focus of our research. We examine the effects of drought stress on physiological processes, yield and quality with experiments and with model-based system analysis ("virtual crops"). We develop and steadily improve decision support systems for irrigation based on the "Geisenheim Irrigation Scheduling" for open field production with the participation of users.
Our climate impact research identifies the potential effects of climate change on plant physiology, phenology, quality, yield and finally, vegetable cultivation practices. In a FACE (Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment) system, effects of reduced water supply and increased atmospheric CO2 concentration on vegetables are studied.