Sulphide tolerance in coastal halophytes
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- Havill, D.C., Ingold, A. & Pearson, J. Vegetatio (1985) 62: 279. doi:10.1007/BF00044754
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The effect of sulphide on the growth of several species of salt-marsh plants was investigated. Relative growth rates were significantly reduced in two upper-marsh species, Festuca rubra and Atriplex patula, and in the lower-marsh species Puccinellia maritima. However the growth of Salicornia europaea, a species frequently associated with sulphide-containing sediments, was unaffected. In a separate experiment the wide ranging halophyte Aster tripolium, also appeared to be tolerant of sulphide at a concentration frequently encountered in salt marshes. Sulphide pretreatment inhibited the activity of two metallo-enzymes, polyphenol oxidase and external phosphatase, in plants from the upper marsh, but had no effect on enzymes from P. maritima or S. europaea. The rate of respiration by root tissue was significantly reduced in all of the species investigated but whereas the uptake of 86rubidium was markedly inhibited in the other three species, uptake by S. europaea showed a significant stimulation. Similarly, whereas sulphide-grown plants of F. rubra, A. patula and P. maritima had a considerably reduced tissue iron content, the total iron concentration in S. europaea tissues was comparable to that of the controls. When the sulphide-tolerant species A. tripolium was grown in sulphide-containing media there was no significant effect on the tissue concentration of any of the elements investigated. These results are discussed in relation to possible mechanisms of sulphide toxicity and resistance.