Sustainable economic systems help address biotic and abiotic stress in medicinal plants

Plants are sessile organisms, and constant monitoring of environmental changes is necessary for them to modify, adjust and adapt their development and metabolism accordingly. The response to these environmental stimuli requires a multi-integral mechanism where internal and external signals are detected and cause an appropriate reaction in the plant. Based on the medium in which the roots grow, soilless growing systems are classified into three groups: growing in (1) substrate, (2) water (hydroponics) and (3) air (aeroponics).

In particular, aeroponics is the most modern hydroponic system. The main advantage that aeroponics offers is the excellent aeration it provides to the roots. Aeroponics has been used with great success in plant propagation and, more specifically, in the propagation of cuttings of hard-to-root herbaceous or woody species. It is an agricultural production technique in which plants are grown without using soil and nutrients are provided by a liquid solution. In soilless culture, the soil is replaced by an inert substrate and the nutrients necessary for the growth of the plant are provided via irrigation. Organoponics is a form of urban agricultural production with one of the largest impacts in terms of production volume per agricultural area.

The variety of fresh vegetables and condiments at lower prices marketed according to supply and demand, as well as the jobs generated and the productive use of otherwise wasted space, are key benefits that the use of this technique offers. On the other hand, this technology represents a form of intensive production based on the extensive use of organic fertilizers, which are applied in areas with infertile soils or with serious limitations for their exploitation, and even on artificial surfaces created specifically for this activity. Therefore, this chapter aims to (a) describe the background of aeroponics, hydroponics and organoponics, (b) indicate the main medicinal plants that have been identified as candidates for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance , and (c) understand how the incursion of sustainable economic systems are efficient and effective methods to counter the effects of biotic and abiotic stress on medicinal plants.

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Valdez, Luis-Germán & Herrera-Cabrera, Braulio & Garcia, Irma & Salazar-Magallón, Jesús & Salgado-Garciglia, Rafael & Montoya, Jorge & Sanchez-Herrera, Leticia & Ocaño-Higuera, Víctor & Barrales-Cureño, Hebert Jair . (2022). Sustainable economic systems against biotic and abiotic stress in medicinal plants: aeroponics, hydroponics and organoponics. 10.1007/978-3-030-92050-0_13.

Alvin J. Chase