Characteristics of mineral elements in shoots of three annual halophytes in a saline desert, Northern Xinjiang

Abstract

Halophytes are valuable salt-, alkali- and drought-resistant germplasm resources. However, the characteristics of mineral elements in halophytes have not been investigated as intensively as those in crops. This study attempted to investigate the characteristics of mineral elements for annual halophytes during their growth period to reveal their possible physiological mechanisms of salt resistance. By using three native annual halophytes (Salsola subcrassa, Suaeda acuminate and Petrosimonia sibirica) distributed in the desert in Northern Xinjiang of China, the dynamic changes in the mineral element contents of annual halophytes were analyzed through field sampling and laboratory analyses. The results demonstrated that the annual halophytes were able to absorb water and mineral nutrients selectively. In the interaction between the annual halophytes and saline soil, the adaptability of the annual halophytes was manifested as the accumulation of S, Na and Cl during the growth period and maintenance of water and salt balance in the plant, thus ensuring their selective absorption of N, P, K, Ca, Mg and other mineral nutrients according to their growth demand. By utilizing this property, halophyte planting and mowing (before the wilting and death periods) could bioremediate heavy saline-alkali soil.

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Correspondence to ChangYan Tian.

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Zhang, K., Li, C., Li, Z. et al. Characteristics of mineral elements in shoots of three annual halophytes in a saline desert, Northern Xinjiang. J. Arid Land 5, 244–254 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40333-013-0150-6

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Keywords

  • annual halophyte
  • mineral elements
  • desert
  • saline-alkali soil
  • Northern Xinjiang