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Salicornia ramosissima population dynamics and tolerance of salinity


Field and greenhouse studies have been conducted to clarify aspects of population dynamics and NaCl tolerance of Salicornia ramosissima J. Woods. Two populations, Varela and Verdemilho, were monitored in the field during two consecutive life cycles and aspects of their morphology and density were recorded monthly. In the laboratory seedlings were exposed to different salinity for 10 weeks and growth and mortality rate were recorded weekly. The growth of the populations differed significantly, possibly because of the different salinities of the two sampling sites and/or genetic adaptations of the two populations to the environmental conditions. The absence of a significant correlation between sediment salinity and stem elongation suggested, however, that salinity, alone was not responsible for the differences observed and was possibly associated with other factors, because of nutritional, edaphic, and microclimatic conditions. S. ramosissima did not develop well in conditions of elevated or moderate salinity; its growth was optimum at low salinity. Optimum development of S. ramosissima may, nevertheless, depend on the total number of large seeds in a population seed bank, because of their greater success in germination and germinability under stress conditions than small seeds.

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Correspondence to Helena Silva.

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Silva, H., Caldeira, G. & Freitas, H. Salicornia ramosissima population dynamics and tolerance of salinity. Ecol Res 22, 125–134 (2007).

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  • Salicornia ramosissima
  • Density
  • Stem elongation
  • Cohort
  • Mortality