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This volume presents new and additional information about the physiology and ecology of halophytic plant species and saline ecosystems.
The halophytes are highly specialized plants, which have greater tolerance to salt. They can germinate, grow and reproduce successfully in saline areas which would cause the death of regular plants. Most halophytic species are found in salt marsh systems along seashores or around landlocked inland lakes and flat plains with high evaporation. The halophytes play very significant role in the saline areas specially in the coast by overcoming the salinity in different ways, viz. with regulating mechanisms in which excess salts are excreted and with out regulating mechanism, which may include succulents or cumulative types. Besides that they protect coast from erosion and cyclones, provide feeding ground and nursery for fish, shrimps and birds. Halophytes get increasing attention today because of the steady increase of the salinity in irrigation systems in the arid and semi-arid regions where the increasing population reaches the limits of freshwater availability. In many countries, halophytes have been successfully grown on saline wasteland to provide animal fodder and have the potential for rehabilitation and even reclamation of these sites. The value of certain salt-tolerant grass species has been recognized by their incorporation in pasture improvement programs in many salt affected regions throughout the world. There have been recent advances in selecting species with high biomass and protein levels in combination with their ability to survive a wide range of environmental conditions, including salinity.
Our limited understanding of how halophytes work, as this may well be our future as our limit of fresh water is reached. It is important that we preserve these unusual plants and their habitats, not just for their aesthetic beauty, but also as a resource for the development of new salt tolerant and halophyte crop of economic importance. Over the last ten years much new information has become available, which is important for agriculture, forestry and floriculture.
Contributing authors.- Preface.- Foreword.-
1. How salts of sodium, potassium and sulfate affect the germination and early growth of Atriplex acanthocarpa (Chenopodiaceae); B. Gaylord, T. Egan.-
2. Halophyte eed germination; M.A. Khan, B. Gul.-
3. Salt tolerance of some potential forage grasses of Cholistan desert of Pakistan; M. Ashraf et al.-
4. Variability of fruit and seed-oil characteristics in Tunisian accessions of the halophyte Cakile maritima (Brassicaceae); M.A. Ghars et al.-
5. Salt tolerant plants from the great basin region of the United States; D.J. Weber, J. Hanks.-
6. Role of calcium in alleviating salinity effects in coastal halophytes; B. Gul, M.A. Khan.-
7. Calorespirometric metabolism and growth in response to seasonal changes in temperature and salt; B.N. Smith et al.-
8. Evaluation of anthocyanin contents under salinity (NaCl) stress in Bellis perennis L.; R.A. Khavari-Nejad et al.-
9. A comparative study on responses of growth and solute composition in halophytes Suaeda salsa and Limonium bicolor to salinity; X. Liu et al.-
10. Alleviation of salinity stress of some Brassica species; M. Özturk et al.-
11. Saline tolerance physiology in grasses; K.B. Marcum.-
12. Localization of potential ion transport pathways in thesalt glands of the halophyte Sporobolus virginicus; Y. Naidoo, G. Naidoo.-
13. Cellular responses to salinity of two coastal halophytes with different whole plant tolerance: Kosteletzkya virginica (L.) Presl.and Sporobolus virginicus (L.) Kunth; X. Li et al.-
14. Eco-physiological studies on Indian desert plants: effect of salt on antioxidant defense systems in Ziziphus spp.; N. Sankhla et al.-
15. Sabkha edge vegetation of coastal and inland sabkhat in Saudi Arabia; H.-J. Barth.-
16. Analysis of the soil conditions in salt grass (Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene) wild populations in semiarid coastal zone of Mexico; A. Escobar-Hernández et al.-
17. Comparative salt tolerance of perennial grasses; S. Gulzar, M.A. Khan.-
18. Commercial application of halophytic turfs for golf and landscape developments utilizing hyper-saline irrigation; M. DePew, P.H. Tillman.-
19. Salt tolerance of floriculture crops; C.T. Carter, C.M. Grieve.-
20. Utilization of salt-affected soils by growing some Acacia species; M.Y. Ashraf et al.-
21. Soil remediation via salt-conduction and the hypotheses of halosynthesis and photoprotection; N.P. Yensen, K.Y. Biel.-22. Mechanism of cash crop halophytes to maintain yields and reclaim saline soils in arid areas; H.-W. Koyro et al.-
23. Halophyte uses for the twenty-first century; N.P. Yensen.-
24. Halophyte research and development: What needs to be done next? B. Böer.