Plants for Arid Lands

pp 177-188

Economic halophytes — a global review

  • James AronsonAffiliated withBoyko Institute for Agriculture and Applied Biology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

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Not less than about 400 million ha and perhaps as much as 950 million ha of land in arid and semi-arid regions may be salt-affected from natural and anthropogenic causes (Massoud 1974, Ponnamperuma 1977). Definitive data on the annual worldwide loss of farmland due to salinization and related causes is lacking. However salinity is unquestionably the most important problem of irrigated agriculture (Dregne 1977), and one-fifth of the irrigated lands of the world, approximately 47 million ha, is salt-affected today (Maas & Hoffman 1977).