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Plant Physiology
October 17, 2014


Scientist: Dr. David Bubenheim
Division: Biospheric Science

Dr. Bubenheim studies how plants are affected by changing environmental conditions and how ecosystems are impacted as result of those changes.

What is Plant Physiology?

Plant Physiology is the study of how plants work, starting with internal processes that happen rapidly like photosynthesis and molecular interactions, the processes determining shape and structure of plants (including microgravity of space), and the large scale role of plants in the ecology of Earth.

How is Plant Physiology helping us achieve Planetary Sustainability?

Plant Physiology is important to understanding the effects of environmental change on local and large-scale ecological health. As environments change the plants that have grown there for many years are often replaced by others that now grow better. Changes in plant populations can affect things that are important like animal habitats, water use, soil erosion, food production, and even wildfires. Understanding these processes is important to adapting to a changing environment.

Plant Physiology is being used to develop Sustainable, Closed Ecology systems to provide life support for space travel and planetary habitats. Using plants to produce food, oxygen and water while removing CO2 from the air and recovering nutrients from wastes is important to achieving sustainable, self-sufficient human settlements.

For more information visit: earthscience.arc.nasa.gov


Image Credit: 
NASA/Dominic Hart
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Page Last Updated: October 17th, 2014
Page Editor: Darlene Wiedemann