Back To Top

4.2. Controlled environment horticultural systems

1. Research Domain
FUNCT Functional Plant Biology
2. Research Domain
MICRO Plant-Microbe Systems
3. Research Domain
QUALITY Plant Quality and Food Security
4. Research Domain
HORTSYS Next-Generation Horticultural Systems
4.1 Open field horticultural systems
4.2. Controlled environment horticultural systems

Aim of the research group ‘Protected Cultivation’ within Horticultural Systems of the Future is to create systems and back-ground knowledge for low- and high tech protected cultivation systems as greenhouses or plant factories.

Cooperation Partners

Wageningen University
Danish Technological Institute
Aarhus University
Humboldt-University Berlin
and others


General: Horticultural Crop Production, Sustainable Production, Modelling, Plant Growth, Plant Nutrition, Plant Stress Detection, Decision Support Systems

Specific: Greenhouse Technology, Energy Systems, Climate Control, Microclimate, Sensors & Models, Horticultural Production Phenotyping, Vertical Farming, Symbiotic Cultivation Systems


Protected Cultivation takes place in a wide range of technological stuctures from non-controlled plastic tunnels over climate controlled greenhouses to plant factories and vertical systems. Achieving the optimum of low resource consumption, high yield and top quality produce are the common targets for all systems. The target thresholds, however, can differ, and different locations and cultures ask for different solutions.

A Typical Case: Modern greenhouse systems turn into plant factories and are equipped with various commercial available sensors. Those type of sensors alone often say little about early plant physiological processes and actions are often too late. Damages to the physiological apparatus caused by plant stress, however, are known to be reversive up to a certain point, while mild stress can have positive effects on plants in terms of compounds and other quality parameters. The knowledge of the dose of stress (various types), induced or unwanted and unplanned, is of utmost importance for reaching the optimum of either planned quality improvements or unplanned damages and the used resources. Decisions on actions to be taken are usually done from experience where commercially used standard sensor information is used. This, however, is very subjective and unsatisfying. A possible solution would be to combine data information from those sensors as e.g. temperature, humidity, wind speed and irradiation in the microclimate with plant physiological models to so called soft sensors supplying information about the underlying plant physiological processes.


Current Project

2018 - 2021

CityFood (Part of the Sustainable Urban Growth Initiative, SUGI)

The collaborative project CityFood aims to address a range of scientific, environmental, and soci...

Read More

Other Projects

Quality assurance of recycling products from dry toilets for use in horticulture

The DIN-Connect innovation funding (DIN-Connect Innovationsförderung) aims to develop a product standard (DIN SPEC) for market...

Read More

SiEUGreen – Sustainable Food Security – Resilient and resource-efficient value

SiEUGreen aspires to enhance the EU-China cooperation in promoting urban agriculture for food security, resource efficiency and smart, resilient cities.


Read More

Electric power supply to greenhouses at volatile current supply using mainly renewable energy sources (ELGEVOS)

Concepts for demand side management (DSM) in greenhouses are developed that adapt to the increasing generation of electricity b...

Read More