PLNT*6010 Physiology of Crop Yield

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2020 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

This course covers factors affecting biomass production and yield, with primary focus on phenomena measured at the whole canopy scale. Yield-limiting abiotic stresses (temperature, water deficit, nutrient deficiency) are considered in detail, as are technical aspects of instrumentation used in crop physiology research.

Instructors:

Teaching Assistant:

Credit Weight:

0.50

Course Level:

  • Graduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture

Campus:

Guelph

Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for course schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, students should be able to:
  1. Have the technical knowledge to critically read the current scientific literature in the area of Crop Physiology, and be able to demonstrate this knowledge in five short examinations written in-class, each covering a specific sub-topic area.
  2. Lead structured discussions of one or more assigned papers in the area of Crop Physiology.
  3. Participate meaningfully in discussions of assigned research papers, in a manner that demonstrates that you have read and attempted to understand the assigned papers, and which contributes to the learning of other course participants.
  4. Review the current literature in an area of Crop Physiology, identify a suitable research question related to the area, and design a plausible research approach to address that question.
  5. Present a research proposal in the form of a major paper, and as an oral presentation to the class.

Lecture Content:

12 Weeks, normally with two 80-minute meetings per week (except for Week 11, when only the Tuesday meeting is scheduled)

The course is divided into five sets of topics, each two weeks in length.  Typically, the first week of each section is devoted to instructor-led lectures or demonstrations, and the second week is used for discussion of relevant papers. Most paper discussions will be led by the students.  

The final two class meetings (Week 12) will be used for student presentations related to the major assignment.

This general plan is based on expected enrollment of 10 to 12 students, and may be modified to accommodate larger or smaller numbers.  

The final schedule will be set following the first class meeting.  Specific topics are subject to change based on particular student interests. 

Topic Set 1 – Crop Growth : Crop Growth Curves, Biomass Accumulation, Interception of Solar Radiation, Growth Analysis, Radiation Use Efficiency

Topic Set 2 – Carbon Assimilation: Photosynthesis, Leaf Gas exchange, Chlorophyll Fluorometry, Photorespiration

Topic Set 3 – Canopy Net Carbon Flux: Respiratory Carbon Loss, Landscape-scale Net CO2 Exchange

Topic Set 4 – Carbon Partitioning: Source-Sink Relations, Yield Components

Topic Set 5 – Crop Water Use: Leaf and Canopy H2O Exchange, Soil Water, Drought Stress, Water Use Efficiency

Labs & Seminars:

There are no labs or seminars scheduled for this course.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Mark Learning Outcomes Assessed

Quizzes

40%

1

Major paper

30% 4

Presentation of major paper

10% 5

Participation

20% 3

If fewer than three papers are assigned to each student, then the remaining portion of the grade will be allocated to the participation mark.

This grade will be assigned in two portions (10% each).  The first will be assigned after the end of Topic Set 3, and the second at the end of the course.  In both cases, it will be determined partially by anonymous feedback from the other students in the course, and partially by the instructor.  On both occasions, each student in the course will be asked to rank the other students in terms of the quality of their participation.  This includes their success in leading paper discussions, their contributions to paper discussions when they are not the leader, and their participation during lecture periods.

Final examination:

There is no final examination scheduled for this course.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:

None.

Recommended Texts:

None.

Lab Manual:

None.

Other Resources:

Lecture notes and other materials will be distributed to students via the CourseLink website.

Field Trips:

None.

Additional Costs:

None.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies

Assignments are due by 11:59 pm on the due date, via the course website dropbox.  Penalty for late submission is 10% of the assignment grade for each calendar day or part thereof that the assignment is overdue.

Attendance is considered in allocating the portion of the grade assessing participation. Students who miss more than one class without a documented medical or compassionate reason should expect to be penalized in this part of the grade assignment.

Course Policy on Group Work:

n/a

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor. When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:

Accessibility

The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS), formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

Course Evaluation Information

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Your responses will not affect your grade.  Course evaluation data are distributed to individual instructors after final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, following the completion of each academic semester.

Please be honest, respectful, constructive and thorough.  Instructors and review committees place great value on student course ratings and read all comments provided in course evaluations. It is helpful to provide comments on the strengths of the course, in addition to the areas for improvement.  Please refrain from personal comments unless they relate to teaching and learning.

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