, Volume 383, Issue 1-2, pp 3-41,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 08 May 2014

Agricultural uses of plant biostimulants

Abstract

Background

Plant biostimulants are diverse substances and microorganisms used to enhance plant growth. The global market for biostimulants is projected to increase 12 % per year and reach over $2,200 million by 2018. Despite the growing use of biostimulants in agriculture, many in the scientific community consider biostimulants to be lacking peer-reviewed scientific evaluation.

Scope

This article describes the emerging definitions of biostimulants and reviews the literature on five categories of biostimulants: i. microbial inoculants, ii. humic acids, iii. fulvic acids, iv. protein hydrolysates and amino acids, and v. seaweed extracts.

Conclusions

The large number of publications cited for each category of biostimulants demonstrates that there is growing scientific evidence supporting the use of biostimulants as agricultural inputs on diverse plant species. The cited literature also reveals some commonalities in plant responses to different biostimulants, such as increased root growth, enhanced nutrient uptake, and stress tolerance.

Responsible Editor: Philippe Hinsinger.