HPP-22803 Concepts in Environmental Plant Physiology


Credits 3.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)ME Kaiser
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. W van Ieperen
ME Kaiser
Examiner(s)ME Kaiser
dr. ir. W van Ieperen

Language of instruction:

NL and/or EN

Assumed knowledge on:

CLB-10803 Reproduction of Plants;
NEM-10306 Introduction Plant Sciences;
PPH-10806 Structure and Function of Plants.

Continuation courses:

HPP-20306 Physiology and Development of Plants in Horticulture;
HPP-21306 Crop Ecology;
HPP-31806 Advanced Methods for Plant-Climate Research in Controlled Environments.


This course focuses on methods that enable students to apply their knowledge of plant physiology in ecology and agriculture. Concepts related to the functioning of plants in their physical environment - light, CO2 concentration, water, as well as air temperature and humidity - are developed. It will be analyzed how i) water relations, ii) photosynthesis and iii) leaf energy balance are affected by these environmental factors. Students will learn how to combine knowledge from the domains of plant physiology and environmental physics. This integration is aimed to help students to better understand the complexity of plant-environment systems and ultimately can be used to build creative ideas for research as well as practical applications in the field of plant production.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand important interactions between plants and their physical environment that are essential for functioning and survival of plants;
- combine prior acquired knowledge on plant physiology and environmental physics into meaningful integrated concepts;
- do calculations to quantify key processes related to photosynthesis, water relations and heat balances of plants.


- self-study of the course book and materials on the course blackboard;
- preparing for (!) and attending lectures / tutorials / computer practicals;
- reading and processing scientific literature to prepare for practical assignments.


- at the end of every 2nd week (week 2, 4 and 6) there will be a partial exam;
- each partial exam values one-third of the final mark for the course, marks for partial exams are only valid in the course period, during which they are achieved;
- each partial exam will consist of 20-30 multiple choice questions and 1 or 2 open questions. The minimum mark for every partial exam is 4.00;
- students, who either finalized 1 of the 3 intermediate tests with a mark below 4.00 or have an average mark across the 3 tests that is lower than 5.50, can re-do 1 of the 3 tests in week 8 of the course;
- after re-doing a test in week 8 of the course, the last mark will be valid in a new average calculation for the course mark;
- marks for partial exams are only valid in the period when the course is taken by the student;
- the first resit (full examinations) will be in February, the second in August (regular exam resit periods);
- details are described in the course guide (assessment strategy);


- study Book: Plant Physiology and Development, 6th revised edition (Taiz, Zeiger et al, 2014). Available at the WUR-shop. Not available online in WUR-library.
- selected Chapters from Physicochemical and Environmental Plant Physiology (Nobel, 2009): online available WUR-library.
- selected Chapters from Plant Physiological Ecology (Lambers, Chapin III and Pons, 2008): online available WUR-library.
- selected Scientific Papers: available via Learning Environment@WUR and online WUR-library.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBSc1AF