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Encyclopedia of Agrophysics


Author: Winfried E. H. Blum

Publisher: Springer


Publish Date: July 26, 2011

ISBN-10: 9048135842

Pages: 1028

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Agrophysics is the science that studies physical processes and properties affecting plant production. The fundaments of agrophysical investigations are mass (water, air, nutrients) and energy (light, heat) transport in the soil–plant–atmosphere and soil–plant–machine– agricultural products–foods continuums and way of their regulation to acquire biomass of high quantity and quality with sustainability to the environment. Agrophysics has been developing dynamically over the past decades, filling the gap between disciplines like agrochemistry, agrobiology, agroecology, agroclimatology and linking them together. Unlike physics of individual objects like soils, plants, agricultural products and food, agrophysics provides a physical basis to better understand interrelations between the objects.

Understanding physical processes in the agrophysical objects is a pre-requisite for applying new technologies in sustainable land use and environment management, and in the production of healthy agricultural products and food. The recognition of physical phenomena in the agricultural environment allows more efficient use of water and chemicals in agriculture and decreasing biomass losses during harvest, transport, storage and processing. These result in a growing interest in the application of physics for improving the quality of the above mentioned objects. It is therefore considered timely to produce a key resource across the discipline providing a clear explanation of present knowledge in modern agrophysics interfacing with the physical sciences and environmental and food sciences.

The roots of agrophysics are based in Saint Petersburg (Russia) where A.F. Ioffe (1880–1960) founded the principles of a new branch of natural and agricultural sciences and was the founder in 1932 of the Institute of Physics and Agriculture, later called the Institute of Agrophysics. Subsequently, the Institute of Agrophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences was created in 1968 in Lublin (Poland) by B. Dobrzański (1908–1987), whose idea was to extend the application of physics not only to soils, but also to agricultural plants and products. Initially the Institute played an important role in the coordination of agrophysical research in Poland and in European countries, and later the cooperation was broadened to numerous scientific institutions worldwide.

The Encyclopedia of Agrophysics has been written to portray the agrophysical objects in terms of physical processes and physical properties characterising them. Interactions between the objects are also included. As agrophysical issues become more and more complicated, so will the knowledge and vocabulary required for their clear understanding, discussion and study be extended. Due to the dynamic and rapid growth of agrophysical knowledge, the Encyclopedia considersmany newresearch methods and terms that did not even exist a decade ago.

The Encyclopedia can be helpful in evaluating and improving the quality of soils and agricultural products as well as the technological processes. Moreover, agrophysical terminology can be applied to soil science, agronomy, biophysics, agroecology, agricultural engineering, horticulture, plant science, food science, environmental science, landscape ecology and geography, and thereby it can help collaboration and the flow of information between the disciplines. The Encyclopedia can serve as a reference document for researchers, students of various levels, librarians, policy- and decision-makers, and interested societies working and studying in a range of disciplines related to agrophysics.

The Encyclopedia of Agrophysics encloses 261 articles and 400 glossary terms that are arranged in alphabetical order. Each article includes “cross-references” that direct the reader to one or more other articles that may shed more light on the topic.

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