, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 167–174 | Cite as

Effects of salt on growth, ion accumulation, photosynthesis and leaf anatomy of the mangrove, Bruguiera parviflora

  • Asish Kumar Parida
  • A. B. Das
  • B. Mittra
Original Article


The effects of a range of salinity (0, 100, 200 and 400 mM NaCl) on growth, ion accumulation, photosynthesis and anatomical changes of leaves were studied in the mangrove, Bruguiera parviflora of the family Rhizophoraceae under hydroponically cultured conditions. The growth rates measured in terms of plant height, fresh and dry weight and leaf area were maximal in culture treated with 100 mM NaCl and decreased at higher concentrations. A significant increase of Na+ content of leaves from 46.01 mmol m-2 in the absence of NaCl to 140.55 mmol m-2 in plants treated with 400 mM NaCl was recorded. The corresponding Cl- contents were 26.92 mmol m-2 and 97.89 mmol m-2. There was no significant alteration of the endogenous level of K+ and Fe2+ in leaves. A drop of Ca2+ and Mg2+ content of leaves upon salt accumulation suggests increasing membrane stability and decreased chlorophyll content respectively. Total chlorophyll content decreased from 83.44 μg cm-2 in untreated plants to 46.56 μg cm-2 in plants treated with 400 mM NaCl, suggesting that NaCl has a limiting effect on photochemistry that ultimately affects photosynthesis by inhibiting chlorophyll synthesis (ca. 50% loss in chlorophyll). Light-saturated rates of photosynthesis decreased by 22% in plants treated with 400 mM NaCl compared with untreated plants. Both mesophyll and stomatal conductance by CO2 diffusion decreased linearly in leaves with increasing salt concentration. Stomatal and mesophyll conductance decreased by 49% and 52% respectively after 45 days in 400 mM NaCl compared with conductance in the absence of NaCl. Scanning electron microscope study revealed a decreased stomatal pore area (63%) in plants treated with 400 mM NaCl compared with untreated plants, which might be responsible for decreased stomatal conductance. Epidermal and mesophyll thickness and intercellular spaces decreased significantly in leaves after treatment with 400 mM NaCl compared with untreated leaves. These changes in mesophyll anatomy might have accounted for the decreased mesophyll conductance. We conclude that high salinity reduces photosynthesis in leaves of B. parviflora, primarily by reducing diffusion of CO2 to the chloroplast, both by stomatal closure and by changes in mesophyll structure, which decreased the conductance to CO2 within the leaf, as well as by affecting the photochemistry of the leaves.


Bruguiera parviflora Leaf succulence Mangrove Mesophyll Photosynthesis 



The authors are grateful to Prof. P. Das, Director, Regional Plant Resource Centre, Bhubaneswar for providing laboratory facilities and to Prof. P. Mohanty, Adjunct Professor, Regional Plant Resource Centre, Bhubaneswar for his valuable suggestions during the course of investigation. The help during the analysis of ions through ICP-AES by TISCO, Sukinda, Orissa is duly acknowledged. The financial assistance from CSIR [Grant No. 38(983)/EMR-II], New Delhi, is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Plant Biodiversity Conservation and ResearchNayapalliBhubaneswarIndia
  2. 2.Regional Plant Resource CentreBhubaneswar India
  3. 3.Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems, School of Environmental StudiesUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

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