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CABI Book Chapter

Halophytes and climate change: adaptive mechanisms and potential uses.

Book cover for Halophytes and climate change: adaptive mechanisms and potential uses.

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Chapter 2 (Page no: 19)

Habitats of halophytes.

Salt-tolerant plants occur all over the world in a number of different ecosystems, ranging from pristine alkaline semi-deserts and mangrove forests; through semi-natural meadows and pastures; to man-made habitats such as the environs of graduation towers; over irrigated arable lands with poor drainage in the tropics; and to city lawns in the boreo-temperate zone polluted with NaCl and CaCl2 during deicing. Natural habitats disappear because of urbanization, tourism and agriculture intensification. Since 1980 one-fifth of the Earth's mangrove biome has disappeared as well as more than one-half of alkaline steppes and nearly all Earth's coastal and inland salt meadows, glassworts and other annual communities of muds and sands, Mediterranean and warm Atlantic halophilous scrubs, vegetated sea cliffs and machairs. At the same time halophytes colonize new, man-made habitats, becoming dominant or even the sole species there. Some salt-resistant species, such as Rhizophora mangle in Hawaii and Spartina anglica in the UK, become dangerous invasive species. Mangrove swamps deserve more efficient conservation and restoration efforts since they shelter coasts from erosion, tsunami and storm surge; trap a wide variety of heavy metals; and provide habitats for juvenile fish, oysters and crustaceans. In the temperate and boreal zones the traditional land use of saline meadows and pastures needs to be maintained to preserve the original biodiversity and ecosystem services. Further halophyte domestication will lead to establishment of completely new, artificial agro-ecosystems to yield food, fodder and fuel, as well as fibre and phytoremediation, for rapidly expanding human populations. A range of halophyte crop cultivation systems can help to reduce damage caused by salinization of soils and freshwater, increase food production up to 70% by 2050 and combat coastal erosion in the era of climate change and global pollinator crisis. At the same time we need to eradicate some monospecific thickets built by invasive, alien halophytes to restore primeval, species-rich communities in areas of naturally high salinity.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Defining halophytes: a conceptual and historical approach in an ecological frame. Author(s): Grigore, M. N.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 38) Intra-habitat variability of halophytic flora of north-west India. Author(s): Sarita Devi Ashwani Kumar Mann, A. Arya, S. S. Gurdev Chand Neeraj Kumar Anita Kumari Pooja Babita Rani Arvind Kumar
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 55) Halophytic vegetation in south-east Europe: classification, conservation and ecogeographical patterns. Author(s): Stevanović, Z. D. Aćić, S. Stešević, D. Luković, M. Šilc, U.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 69) South African salt marshes: ecophysiology and ecology in the context of climate change. Author(s): Tabot, P. T. Adams, J. B.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 89) Seagrasses, the unique adaptation of angiosperms to the marine environment: effect of high carbon and ocean acidification on energetics and ion homeostasis. Author(s): Rubio, L. Fernández, J. A.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 104) Ecophysiology of seed heteromorphism in halophytes: an overview. Author(s): Aysha Rasheed Farah Nisar Bilquees Gul Khan, M. A. Abdul Hameed
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 115) Salt marsh plants: biological overview and vulnerability to climate change. Author(s): Touchette, B. W. Kneppers, M. K. Eggert, C. M.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 137) Ion accumulation pattern of halophytes. Author(s): Chaudhary, D. R.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 152) Morpho-anatomical traits of halophytic species. Author(s): Rančić, D. Pećinar, I. Aćić, S. Stevanović, Z. D.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 179) ROS signalling, and antioxidant defence network in halophytes. Author(s): Surówka, E. Latowski, D. Libik-Konieczny, M. Miszalski, Z.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 196) Antioxidant defence in halophytes under high salinity. Author(s): Neeraj Kumar Shubham Lamba Ashwani Kumar Pratima Kumar Mann, A. Sarita Devi Pooja Anita Kumari Babita Rani
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 209) Soil chemical composition modifies the morpho-physiological responses of Prosopis strombulifera, a halophyte native to South America. Author(s): Reginato, M. Llanes, A. Luna, V.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 223) Elimination of salt by recretion: salt glands and gland-supported bladders in recretohalophytes. Author(s): Lüttge, U.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 240) Synergic effects of rhizobacteria: increasing use of halophytes in a changing world. Author(s): Mesa-Marín, J. Mateos-Naranjo, E. Rodríguez-Llorente, I. D. Pajuelo, E. Redondo-Gómez, S.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 255) Arsenic tolerance mechanisms in halophytes: the case of Tamarix gallica. Author(s): Sghaier, D. B. Pedro, S. Duarte, B. Caçador, I. Sleimi, N.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 266) Thylakoid electron transfer in Salicornia veneta under different salinity levels: a fluorescence-based study. Author(s): Cannata, R. Barbato, R.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 275) Introgression of halophytic salt stress-responsive genes for developing stress tolerance in crop plants. Author(s): Jha, R. K. Jaykumar Patel Avinash Mishra Bhavanath Jha
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 287) Halophytes: potential resources of coastal ecosystems and their economic, ecological and bioprospecting significance. Author(s): Parida, A. K. Asha Kumari Jaykumar Rangani Monika Patel
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 324) Practical uses of halophytic plants as sources of food and fodder. Author(s): Centofanti, T. Bañuelos, G.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 343) Use of halophytes as medicinal plants: phytochemical diversity and biological activity. Author(s): Stevanović, Z. D. Stanković, M. S. Stanković, J. Janaćković, P. Stanković, M.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 359) Lipids in halophytes: stress physiology relevance and potential future applications. Author(s): Duarte, B. Matos, A. R. Marques, J. C. Caçador, I.