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Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan--Publication-Special Publication of TARI-No.145

No.145

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Growth and physiological responses of ornamental plants to salinity

Growth and physiological responses of ornamental plants to salinity

Genhua Niu

Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at E1 Paso, Texas A&M System, 1380 A&M Circle, E1 Paso, TX 79927, USA
Author for correspondence: gniu@ag.tamu.edu

Abstract

    Water shortage and poor water quality are global issues. With rapid population growth and the diminishing water supply in urban areas, use of alternative water sources such as municipal recycled water and other sources of non potable waters for agriculture and landscape irrigation is inevitable. A potential concern is the elevated salt levels in these alternative waters. This paper briefly summarizes our research results on salt tolerance of a large number of ornamental plants ranging from bedding plants, herbaceous perennial and groundcovers and woody shrubs and trees. The methodology of screening and evaluating salt tolerance of ornamental plants is discussed. Like agricultural crops, a wide range of salt tolerance among ornamental plants has been found. In addition to plant species, dominant salt type, substrate, irrigation method and management, and environmental conditions also affect plant responses to salinity stress. A number of mechanisms of salinity tolerance have been observed among these ornamental species, including restriction of ion uptake, selective ion uptake, and tolerance to high internal concentrations of sodium and/or chloride.