Geobotany Volume 11, 1987, pp 260-269

Growth and mineral relations of salt-marsh species on nutrient solutions containing various sodium sulphide concentrations

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In two experiments the effects of sodium sulphide on growth and mineral relations of salt marsh plants were investigated. In the first experiment it was found that growth of Spartina anglica was reduced at high sulphide concentrations (500 or 1000 nM). At these sulphide levels shoot concentrations of sulphur, sulphate and β-3 dimethylsulphoniopropionate were increased compared to the plants grown without sulphide in the nutrient solution. In a second experiment the effects of Na2S, applied in a buffered nutrient solution, on five salt marsh species were compared. Growth of Salicornia dolichostachya, Salicornia brachystachya and Spartina anglica was not inhibited at the highest concentrations used (500 µM). At this sulphide concentration growth of Halimione portulacoides and Agrostis stolonifera was significantly inhibited. In these sulphide sensitive species, sulphide significantly lowered the concentrations of Mn, Zn, Cu and P in the shoots; root concentrations of K and Mg were also lowered. Ion concentrations in both Salicornia species were not affected. Some effects of sulphide on ion concentrations were found in Spartina anglica. These and other results obtained in the first experiment are discussed in relation to interactions of nutrient solutions with appHed sodium sulphide. Comparison of the five species led to the conclusion that sulphide plays a role in the distribution of species in the salt marsh habitat.