Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 16, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: No interpretive summary required for book chapters.
Technical Abstract: The negative effects of thermal stress on plants are substantial, pervasive, and often result in reduced crop yields worldwide. One of the difficulties associated with investigation of high temperature stress is the development of appropriate definitions of thermal stresses. The identification of a zero stress state of a plant is an important starting point in thermal stress studies which can be used to define an optimal thermal range. Temperatures above the optimal thermal range indicate high temperature stress. The use of the thermal dependence of individual enzymes and various plant processes provide definitions of optimal thermal ranges. Optimizing plant performance in stressful environments involves increasing the amount of time that the plant's temperature is within the optimal range. Modification of plant structure, particularly canopies, can reduce thermal stress. Irrigation management based upon optimal temperatures results in improved irrigation scheduling. Alterations of optimal thermal ranges through transgenic methods have the potential to reduce thermal stresses on plants.