Plant physiology and biosphere-atmosphere interactions

Lead by Prof Ülo Niinemets  CV    Publications
Head, Department of Plant Physiology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences
Phone: + 372 7313187, Address: Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014 Tartu, ESTONIA

Research group blog:


Photo. Gas-exchange chanber tp perform measurements of plant photosynthesism transgrssion and trace gas (BVOC) emissions under controlled condition (light, temperature, CO2).







The key research areas of the department are plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses, and emission of plant-generated biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOC). Global change leads to simultaneous modification of multiple environmental drivers and is expected to result in enhanced frequency and severity of environmental and biotic stresses, and stress interactions worldwide. Interdisciplinary experimental, monitoring and modelling approaches are used to analyze stress effects at the molecular, physiological, whole plant and ecosystem levels. Data obtained from these efforts will be used to determine the limits of adaptation to multiple sequential and interacting stresses and to develop new knowledge and models of BVOC dynamics under changing climatic conditions.

Photo. Cross-section of Populus tremula leaf. Light microscopy.

Left: a leaf grown at ambient CO2. Right: a leaf that is grown at higher concentration of CO2 in the air, is thicker and has better developed photosynthetic tissue.

Anatomical changes, which take place in the photosynthetic tissue under elevated CO2 concentration in the air giving us better understanding of the plants photosynthetic capacity under changing conditions.

Photos, The Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations (SMEAR Estonia) - established in cooperation with University of Tartu, Tartu Observatory and University of Helsinki. The 130 meter tower has been built to conduct eddy covariance measurements of CO2, H2O and biogenic volatile organic compounds; assessing meteorological data, concentrations of greenhouse gases and reactive trace gases - ozone and NOx.





Photo. Facility to measure constitutive and stress-elicited volatile compounds in the lab (a, b) and in the field-site (c).


Steffen M. Noe Senior researcher, PhD (Univ. of Darmstadt, Germany)
Astrid Kännaste Senior researcher, PhD (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden)
Bakhtier Rasulov Senior researcher, PhD (Tadzhik Acad. Sci. Dushanbe)
Eero Talts Postdoctoral reseacher, PhD (Univ. of Tartu)
Triinu Remmel Reseacher, PhD (Univ. of Tartu)
Tiina Tosens Assistant professor,PhD (Macouarie Univ, Sydney, Australia)
Lauri Laanisto Postdoctoral reseacher, PhD (Univ. of Tartu)
Hiie Ivanova Researcher, MSc. (Est. Univ. of Life Sci.)
Satpal  Postdoctoral reseacher,PhD (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
Yifan Jiang Postdoctoral reseacher,PhD (Northwest Agricultural and Forestry University China
Tiia Kurvits  Executive director of CoE, Teadusmagister (Univ. of Tartu)
Evi Vaino Senior technician
Eve Eller Chief expert
Veronika Sulg Gardener













PhD students and their research topics

Vivian Vislap Foliage structure in stress resistance

Mari Tobias

Structure-function trait relationships

Leila Pazouki

Stress resistance of field plants

Alisa Krasnova

Carbon pools and fluxes

Dmitri Krasnov;

Soil turnover

Kaia Kask

Influence on volatile organic compounds (VOC)-s in
Brassica nigra affected by biotic and abiotic stressfactors

Valentina Zolotarjova

Infochemical responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stress

Kanagendran Arooran


Shuai Li

Plant physiology

Jiayan Ye

Plant physiology

Liisa Kübarsepp

The relationship between stomatal kinetics, size and density

Linda-Liisa Veromann

Effects of rising atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide on mesofyll diffusion conductance and photosynthesis rate and the emission rate of volatile organic compounds

Centre of Excellence in Environmental Adaptation, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Fr.R.Kreutzwaldi 1, 51014, Tartu, ESTONIA


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