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.