Biology of Halophytes by Yoav Waisel

By Yoav Waisel

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Salts in saline soils are comprised of a mixture of chloride, sulfate, sodium, magnesium, and calcium ions, with sodium chloride being dominant. Gypsum may also comprise, in local sites, a considerable part of the soil's salt content. In arid regions, gypsum concentrates near the soil surface or throughout the profile. In humid regions, it is usually leached into a certain depth below soil surface. In most cases, the profile of such soils is underdeveloped and vertical movement of salts is considerably greater than that of colloid particles, clay minerals, or sesquioxides.

Cf. de Sigmond, 1927). According to Dan et al. (1962), halomorphic soils of Israel can be divided into four subgroups: organic solonchak; alluvial and eolian solonchak; marly solonchak; sterile solonchak. This is a classification which considers both substrate and source of salinity, as well as plant cover. Under some conditions, salts are washed out from halomorphic soils. When the water table is lowered, when an increase in rainfall occurs, or when soils are intentionally leached by man, the saline soil solution moves gradually down the soil profile and by so doing causes a replacement of a large part of the adsorbed nutritive cations, potassium, magnesium, and calcium by sodium ions.

Juncus sp. or Salicornia sp. The dynamic status of the communities was indicated by addition of the prefix Eco. According to this classification, halophytic plant communities were divided into the following nine orders: 1. Halobenthalia Chap. An order of submerged marine plant communities. Usually, communities dominated by Zostera sp. are found in colder waters, while those dominated by Cymodocea sp. are to be found rather in tropical and subtropical seas. Various communities dominated by the genus Ruppia are commonly found both in coastal and inland saline habitats.

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