The Most Important Questions Facing Plant Science
An international panel of scientists that includes UMass Amherst graduate student Ahmet Bakirbas, plant biology graduate program, has identified 100 of the most important questions facing plant science in an article recently published in the journal New Phytologist. The initiative has identified key research priorities and highlights the importance of that diversity, collaboration and funding for plant research must play in the efforts to tackle climate change, the biodiversity crisis and sustainable food production.
“There are many topics in our field that need to be voiced and paid attention to, from climate change to gaps in basic plant biology research. My colleagues and I wanted to direct the attention of the field to these very important questions through this study, says Bakirbas.
These 616 questions were the put before a selected group of 20 panelists from around the world, who then sifted the total number of questions down to the top 100.
The most concerning question involves how climate change will affect plant abundance, productivity, bioregions and ecosystems. Panelists also chose questions related to how science could best serve the needs of a diverse society, food security, biodiversity and sustainability.
“Through this study we hope to direct the attention of the plant biologists to these questions that need to be answered within the next decade,” says Bakirbas. “Then we can be more prepared for the coming environmental challenges the world will face.”