Flooding tolerance in halophytes

Authors

  • Timothy D. Colmer,

    1. School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia;
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Timothy J. Flowers

    1. School of Plant Biology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia;
    2. School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex BN1 9QG, UK
    Search for more papers by this author

Author for correspondence:
Timothy D. Colmer
Tel: +61 8 6488 1993
Fax: +61 8 6488 1108
Email: tdcolmer@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

Summary

Flooding is a common environmental variable with salinity. Submerged organs can suffer from O2 deprivation and the resulting energy deficits can compromise ion transport processes essential for salinity tolerance. Tolerance of soil waterlogging in halophytes, as in glycophytes, is often associated with the production of adventitious roots containing aerenchyma, and the resultant internal O2 supply. For some species, shallow rooting in aerobic upper soil layers appears to be the key to survival on frequently flooded soils, although little is known of the anoxia tolerance in halophytes. Halophytic species that inhabit waterlogged substrates are able to regulate their shoot ion concentrations in spite of the hypoxic (or anoxic) medium in which they are rooted, this being in stark contrast with most other plants which suffer when salinity and waterlogging occur in combination. Very few studies have addressed the consequences of submergence of the shoots by saline water; these have, however, demonstrated tolerance of temporary submergence in some halophytes.

Ancillary