Gail Taylor

Gail Taylor
University of Southampton · Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

B.SC., PH.D, FRSB

About

333
Publications
41,152
Reads
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15,814
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2012 - March 2015
University of Southampton
Position
  • Managing Director

Publications

Publications (333)
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is one of the most important challenges for mankind in the far and near future. In this regard, sustainable production of woody crops on marginal land with low water availability is a major challenge to tackle. This dataset is part of an experiment, in which we exposed three genetically differentiated genotypes of Populus nigra origi...
Article
Full-text available
Bioenergy has been identified as a key contributor to future energy scenarios consistent with the Paris Agreement targets, and is relied upon in scenarios both with and without bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, owing to the multiple ways in which bioenergy can substitute fossil fuels. Understanding the environmental and societal impacts of...
Preprint
Lettuce is a high value food crop, consumed raw around the world. Engineering of the leaf microbiome could provide significant benefits for enhanced crop yield and stress resistance and help to reduce food waste caused by microbial spoilage. Lettuce leaves also act as a vector for human pathogens, implicated in several high-profile food-borne disea...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most decarbonization scenarios of energy systems necessitate more than 500 Mha of land converted to non-food bioenergy crops to provide both energy substitutes for fossil fuels and negative emissions through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Understanding the environmental and societal impact of this significant land-use change (LU...
Article
Full-text available
Background Water supply limits agricultural productivity of many crops including lettuce. Identifying cultivars within crop species that can maintain productivity with reduced water supply is a significant challenge, but central to developing resilient crops for future water-limited climates. We investigated traits known to be related to water-use...
Article
Societal awareness of healthy eating is increasing alongside the market for processed bagged salads, which remain as one of the strongest growing food sectors internationally, including most recently from indoor growing systems. Lettuce represents a significant proportion of this ready-to-eat salad market. However, such products typically have a sh...
Article
Full-text available
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) features heavily in the energy scenarios designed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, but the models used to generate these scenarios do not address environmental and social implications of BECCS at the regional scale. We integrate ecosystem service values into a land‐use optimization tool to deter...
Article
Full-text available
Given its total contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, the global electric power sector will be required to undergo a fundamental transformation over the next decades to limit anthropogenic climate change to below 2 °C. Implications for biodiversity of projected structural changes in the global electric power sector are rarely considered beyond...
Article
Background and aims: The advent of molecular breeding is advocated to improve the productivity and sustainability of second-generation bioenergy crops. Advanced molecular breeding in bioenergy crops relies on the ability to massively sample the genetic diversity. Genotyping-by-sequencing has become a widely adopted method for cost-effective genoty...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Bioenergy crops are central to climate mitigation strategies that utilize biogenic carbon, such as BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage), alongside the use of biomass for heat, power, liquid fuels and, in the future, biorefining to chemicals. Several promising lignocellulosic crops are emerging that have no food ro...
Article
Full-text available
Highlights • The Spanish genotype was less water use efficient than northern genotypes. • Low WUE was linked to a high transpiration rate and a large root system. • A trade-off appeared between total leaf surface and per surface transpiration rate. • Intrinsic WUE was increased by drought but not transpiration efficiency. Abstract Poplar plantat...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of molecular breeding is advocated to improve the productivity and sustainability of second-generation bioenergy crops. Advanced molecular breeding in bioenergy crops relies on the ability to massively sample the genetic diversity. Genotyping-by-sequencing has become a widely adopted method for cost-effective genotyping. It basically req...
Article
Background and Aims Hydraulic and chemical signals operate in tandem to regulate systemic plant responses to drought. Transport of abscisic acid (ABA) through the xylem and phloem from the root to shoot has been suggested to serve as the main signal of water deficit. There is evidence that ABA and its ABA-glycosyl-ester (ABA-GE) are also formed in...
Article
Irrigation, the practice of artificially supplementing the water available to crops, accounts for 70% of global freshwater abstractions. Since water supply is increasingly under threat from climate change, implementing novel deficit irrigation techniques - the practice of applying less than the optimum amount of water required by the crop- is a pre...
Article
Full-text available
Rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is a key driver of enhanced global greening, thought to account for up to 70% of increased global vegetation in recent decades. CO2 fertilization effects have further profound implications for ecosystems, food security and biosphere‐atmosphere feedbacks. However, it is also possible that current trends will not...
Article
Full-text available
Genetic improvement through breeding is one of the key approaches to increasing biomass supply. This paper documents the breeding progress to date for four perennial biomass crops (PBCs) that have high output‐input energy ratios: namely Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), species of the genera Miscanthus (miscanthus), Salix (willow) and Populus (poplar...
Article
Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a perennial rhizomatous grass, which has attracted great attention as a potential lignocellulosic feedstock for bioethanol production due to high biomass yield in marginal land areas, high polysaccharide content and low inhibitor levels in microbial fermentations. However, little is known about the trait variation th...
Article
Full-text available
There is increasing recognition that a whole systems approach is required to inform decisions on future energy options. Based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of forty influential energy and ecosystem services scenario exercises, we consider how the benefits to society that are derived from the natural environment are integrated within cu...
Article
Scenario development is widely used to support the formation of energy policy, but many energy scenarios consider environmental interactions only in terms of climate change. We suggest that efforts to develop more holistic energy pathways, going beyond post hoc analysis of environmental and social implications, can usefully draw on environmental sc...
Chapter
Biogenic carbon emissions are those that originate from biological sources such as plants, trees, and soil. Biogenic carbon emissions relate to the natural carbon cycle and there is significant interest in quantifying how plants capture CO2 in the process of photosynthesis, how it is lost in respiration and stored in biomass (both living and dead),...
Article
Full-text available
Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is grown extensively across the globe but requires irrigation to maintain both yield and leaf quality. Water resources are being put under increasing pressure as we endeavour to produce enough food, fuel and fibre for a growing human population. Thus, improving our water use efficiency is becoming ever more important....
Article
Full-text available
Wood is a renewable resource that can be employed for the production of second generation biofuels by enzymatic saccharification and subsequent fermentation. Knowledge on how the saccharification potential is affected by genotype-related variation of wood traits and drought is scarce. Here, we used three Populus nigra L. genotypes from habitats dif...
Article
This paper aims to evaluate the suitability of the ECOSSE model to estimate soil heterotrophic respiration (Rh) from arable land and short rotation coppices of poplar and willow. Between 2011 and 2013, we measured Rh with automatic closed dynamic chambers on root exclusion plots at one site in the UK (willow, mixed commercial genotypes of Salix spp...
Book
This book presents a flavour of activities focussed on the need for sustainably produced biomass to support European strategic objectives for the developing bioeconomy. The chapters cover five broad topic areas relating to the use of perennial biomass crops in Europe. These are: ‘Bioenergy Resources from Perennial Crops in Europe’, ‘European Region...
Chapter
Growing energy demand, the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the move towards a low carbon economy are driving the development of non-food lignocellulosic crops to provide an alternative to fossil fuels and to support bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (CCS). Trees offer significant potential in this role. Poplar, willow and...
Article
Full-text available
Background Second generation (2G) bioenergy from lignocellulosic feedstocks has the potential to develop as a sustainable source of renewable energy; however, significant hurdles still remain for large-scale commercialisation. Populus is considered as a promising 2G feedstock and understanding the genetic basis of biomass yield and feedstock qualit...
Article
Full-text available
Many recent studies have emphasized the important role of structural variation (SV) in determining human genetic and phenotypic variation. In plants, studies aimed at elucidating the extent of SV are still in their infancy. Evidence has indicated a high presence and an active role of SV in driving plant genome evolution in different plant species....
Article
Full-text available
Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) directly determines the rate of plant photosynthesis and indirectly effects plant productivity and fitness and may therefore act as a selective pressure driving evolution, but evidence to support this contention is sparse. Using Plantago lanceolata L. seed collected from a naturally high CO2 spring and adjacent ambi...
Article
Full-text available
Consuming watercress is thought to provide health benefits as a consequence of its phytonutrient composition. However, for watercress there are currently limited genetic resources underpinning breeding efforts for either yield or phytonutritional traits. In this paper, we use RNASeq data from twelve watercress accessions to characterize the transcr...
Article
Full-text available
Summer droughts are likely to increase in frequency and intensity across Europe, yet long-lived trees may have a limited ability to tolerate drought. It is therefore critical that we improve our understanding of phenotypic plasticity to drought in natural populations for ecologically and economically important trees such as Populus nigra L. A commo...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Meeting the world’s energy demand is a major challenge for society over the coming century. To identify the most sustainable energy pathways to meet this demand, analysis of energy systems on which policy is based must move beyond the current primary focus on carbon to include a broad range of ecosystem services on which human well-being d...
Article
Full-text available
Wide-scale application of biochar to soil has been suggested as a mechanism to offset increases in CO2 emissions through the long-term sequestration of a carbon rich and inert substance to the soil, but the implications of this for soil diversity and function remain to be determined. Biochar is capable of inducing changes in soil bacterial communit...
Poster
Full-text available
A major part of international agreements on combating climate change is the conversion from a fossil fuel economy to low carbon economy. Bioenergy crops have been proposed as a way to improve energy security while reducing CO2 emissions to help mitigate the effects of climate change. However, the effects of land use change from a traditional land u...
Article
Full-text available
The effect of a transition from grassland to second-generation (2G) bioenergy on soil carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) balance is uncertain, with limited empirical data on which to validate landscape-scale models, sustainability criteria and energy policies. Here, we quantified soil carbon, soil GHG emissions and whole ecosystem carbon balance for s...
Article
Whole genome resequencing of 51 Populus nigra (L.) individuals from across Western Europe was performed using Illumina platforms. A total number of 1,878,727 SNPs distributed along the P. nigra reference sequence were identified. The SNP calling accuracy was validated with Sanger sequencing. SNPs were selected within 14 previously identified QTL re...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a multi-objective optimisation model that is configured to account for a range of interrelated or conflicting questions with regard to the introduction of bioenergy systems. A spatial-temporal mixed integer linear programming model ETI-BVCM (Energy Technologies Institute - Bioenergy Value Chain Model) (ETI, 2015b; Geraldine Newt...
Article
We implemented a spatial application of a previously evaluated model of soil GHG emissions, ECOSSE, in the United Kingdom to examine the impacts to 2050 of land-use transitions from existing land use, rotational cropland, permanent grassland or woodland, to six bioenergy crops; three ‘first-generation’ energy crops: oilseed rape, wheat and sugar be...
Article
Full-text available
A diet rich in phytonutrients from fruit and vegetables has been acknowledged to afford protection against a range of human diseases, but many of the most popular vegetables are low in phytonutrients. Wild relatives of crops may contain allelic variation for genes determining the concentrations of these beneficial phytonutrients, and therefore unde...
Article
Full-text available
The growing geographic disconnect between consumption of goods, the extraction and processing of resources, and the environmental impacts associated with production activities makes it crucial to factor global trade into sustainability assessments. Using an empirically validated environmentally extended global trade model, we examine the relationsh...
Article
There is increasing urgency to develop and deploy sustainable sources of energy to reduce our global dependency on finite, high-carbon fossil fuels. Lignocellulosic feedstocks, used in power and liquid fuel generation, are valuable sources of non-food plant biomass. They are cultivated with minimal inputs on marginal or degraded lands to prevent co...
Chapter
Energy, and access to energy, are essential to human life, civilisation and development. A number of energy issues - including energy security, energy prices and the polluting emissions for energy use - now have high prominence on global agendas of policy and diplomacy. In addressing these and other global energy issues, the purpose of this book is...
Article
Full-text available
As studies on biochar stability in field conditions are very scarce, the carbon sequestration potential of biochar application to agricultural soils remains uncertain. The present study assessed the stability of biochar in field conditions, the effect of plant roots on biochar stability and the effect of biochar on original soil organic matter (SOM...