Plant growth and physiology under heterogeneous salinity
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Soil salinity is heterogeneous, and within the root-zone of single plants the salinity of the soil solution can vary widely.
This review shows that water uptake by roots from the least saline part of the soil is the key factor driving shoot growth; plants with part of the root at low salinity (0–10 mM NaCl) had 3- to 10-fold higher shoot dry mass than plants with roots in uniformly saline (50–800 mM NaCl) media. Plants in heterogeneous salinity had shoot water potentials similar to those of plants growing in uniform low-salt media, and this was likely a result of uptake of low salinity water and reduced stomatal conductance. Under heterogeneous conditions, roots in saline media took up ions, resulting in higher shoot Na+ and Cl- concentrations compared with plants growing in low-salt media.
Results from split-root experiments complement knowledge of plant responses to uniform salinities; the next challenge is to develop new protocols so that this understanding can be extrapolated to more complex soil- and field-based systems. More work is also required to understand the physiological mechanisms underlying changes in stomatal conductance and shoot ion regulation in plants under heterogeneous salinities and how these are linked to the saline parts of the root-zone.
- Plant growth and physiology under heterogeneous salinity
Plant and Soil
Volume 354, Issue 1-2 , pp 1-19
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
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- Root-to-shoot signalling
- Salinity tolerance
- Soil salinity
- Split-root experiments
- Stomatal conductance
- Water relations
- Water uptake.
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia
- 2. Centre for Ecohydrology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia
- 3. Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia
- 4. Institute of Agriculture, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia