, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 7–11 | Cite as

On the halophytic nature of mangroves

  • Ken W. KraussEmail author
  • Marilyn C. Ball


Scientists have discussed the halophytic nature of intertidal plants for decades, and have generally suggested that inherent differentiation of an obligate halophyte from a facultative halophyte relates strongly to whether the plant can survive in fresh water, and not much else. In this mini-review, we provide additional insight to support the pervasive notion that mangroves as a group are truly facultative halophytes, and thus add discourse to the alternate view that mangroves have an obligate salinity requirement. Indeed, growth and physiological optima are realized at moderate salinity concentrations in mangroves, but we maintain the notion that current evidence suggests that survival is not dependent upon a physiological requirement for salt.


Facultative halophyte Mangrove Obligate halophyte Salinity tolerance Vivipary 



We thank the US Geological Survey Climate and Land Use Change R&D Program and the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project DP1096749) for research support. Karen L. McKee, Robert D. Guy, and Ulrich Lüttge provided reviews of previous manuscript drafts. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.US Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research CenterLafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Division of Plant Sciences, Research School of Biology, College of Medicine, Biology and EnvironmentAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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