"Environmental stresses represent the most limiting factors for agricultural productivity. Apart from biotic stress caused by plant pathogens, there are a number of abiotic stresses such as extremes in temperature, drought, salinity, heavy metals and radiation which all have detrimental effects on plant growth and yield. However, certain plant species and ecotypes have developed various mechanisms to adapt to such stress conditions. Recent advances in the understanding of these abiotic stress responses provided the impetus for compiling up-to-date reviews discussing all relevant topics in abiotic stress signaling of plants in a single volume. Topical reviews were prepared by selected experts and contain an introduction, discussion of the state of the art and important future tasks of the particular fields."