Potentially Domesticable Chenopodiaceae Halophytes of Iran

  • Mohammad KafiEmail author
  • Masoumeh Salehi
Part of the Tasks for Vegetation Science book series (TAVS, volume 49)


Climate change and water mismanagement have confronted Iran with water scarcity, desertification, and reduction of water quality. In 2020, Iran will need 165 billion m3 of water annually for producing 120 million tons of foodstuffs. In 2012, the agriculture sector used more than 90% of the renewable water of Iran. Therefore, this country faces water crisis, and the extension of the agriculture sector based on fresh water is nearly impossible. Using saline water and soil for the cultivation of halophytes or high salt-tolerant crops could be considered as an alternative solution. Among native halophytes, Chenopodiaceae has the highest (44%) number of species with wide adaptability and different usage (forage, vegetable, food, and oil). Successful utilization of native and exotic chenopods in Iran like Atriplex and Kochia scoparia as forage and Salicornia as oil crop and quinoa as a food is promising. Halocnemum strobilaceum, Seidlitzia rosmarinus, Halostachys caspica, Suaeda fruticosa, and Salsola were evaluated as forage crops, and among them Halocnemum strobilaceum showed high salt tolerance and wide adaptability. However, the highest forage quality belonged to Halostachys caspica. Evaluation of forage quality showed that low metabolic energy is the main problem of using these species as feed. Suaeda aegyptiaca, Salsola soda, and Salicornia persica could be considered as vegetables. Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, Suaeda fruticosa, Suaeda aegyptiaca, Halocnemum strobilaceum, and Salicornia persica with 10 up to 30% edible oil could be promising oil crops in the future. In addition, chenopods are host of four species of Cistanche that are capable to use as medicinal plants.


Chenopods Forage High saline water Medicinal Oil 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AgrotechnologyFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  2. 2.National Salinity Research CenterAgricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)YazdIran

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