Mechanisms of salt tolerance in halophytes which grow rapidly at high salinity have been reviewed recently in this series by Flowers et al (34). Here we review mechanisms of tolerance in nonhalophytes, restricting ourselves to ion and water relations and omitting other aspects such as hormonal controls. Responses of crops to salinity in terms of yield have been reviewed by Maas & Hoffman (83). There are very large differences between species, e.g. a 50 percent yield reduction occurs for beans at 60 m M and for sugar beet at 260 mM monovalent salts [calculated from (83)]. The growth response of cultivated species to salinity overlaps with that of halophytes (Figure 1), and this is not surprising since some species, such as sugar beet, have haloÂ phytic ancestors. Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima is found in salt marshes in association with Atriplex hastata and Suaeda fructicosa ( 14). We have adopted the ecological definition of halophytes used by Jennings (65): "the native flora of saline soils," and have assumed that soils in this context contain solutions with a IT of at least 3.3 bar, being equivalent to 70 mM monovalent salts [calculated from (106)]. It has been recognized since the
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1980
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