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Neil Bertrando
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Reno, Nevada, United States
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Salt Tolerant Plant list: Halophytes

Posted by Neil Bertrando over 7 years ago

focused on cold desert plants

I compiled this for my PDC class and thought people on this list might find it useful. 

Any feedback and additions to strategies and resources is always appreciated. 

'At last Class, a question was asked about salty soils. 

We discussed that there are only a few options for treating salty soils, which are defined as soils haveing a large concentration of soluble mineral salt ions. 

  • 1. leave them alone
  • 2. wash them through using water which is less salty (washes salts to another location either downstream or into groundwater aquifers)
  • 3. immobilize and cycle the salts by binding them up in living organisms and on soil organic matter surfaces (increased CEC)
  • 4. Dig out the salt affected soils and remove them -- landfill

  • my preferred option is usually # 3 and I feel it is valuable to know the options when assessing a site. Salt export from the site can be designed in for example by feeding vegetation to animals which are sold, eaten, etc.or cultivating salt tolerant herbs or crops eaten or sold. Locally adapted species can be found by visiting salt-marshes or other saline areas and observing and identifying species along a salt gradient. These may also be locations for collecting plant materials. After a local list is made, climate analogues can be researched to add to diversity and use potential. 

    We reviewed the process of salt soil formation: evapo-concentration of minerals which are usually carried in by water (or deposited by settling or applied by humans) 

    so any long term salt management strategy will include methods that decrease evaporation (which is a primary design strategy in drylands) 

    Here are some resources on phytoremediation. for each site a suite of locally adapted plants can be selected which i would include in plans for option 3 portions of soil salt management strategies. 
    http://www.icarda.org/docrep/Articles/Phytoremediation.pdf provides a survey of the science 
    http://www.ecological-engineering.com/phytorem.html describes process and has a short plant list at bottom 
    http://www.wseas.us/e-library/conferences/2007creteeeesd/papers/562-129.pdf this paper demonstrates the difference between salt tolerance and salt bioaccumulation (removal) both species can be useful as part of a salt soil ecology 
    http://bioeng.ca/pdfs/meeting-papers/2005/CSAE%20papers/05-052.pdf atriplex genus as a salty soil plant (also good browse, included orache) 

    a list of halophytes (salt tolerant plants) from wikipedia 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Halophytes 

    salt tolerante cand crop potential of halophytes 
    http://www.redsalinidad.com.ar/assets/files/mejoramiento/blumwaldhalophytes.pdf 

    evolution of halophytes 
    http://www.tempoandmode.com/wp-content/uploads/201...tionhalophytesfuncplbiol10.pdf 

    arid western us habitats 
    http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WETLAND/docs/specialized_habitats_aridwest.pdf 

    great basin plant adaptation 
    http://redbuttecanyon.net/pubs/comstock_ehleringer.pdf 

    great basin salt playa seed bank 
    http://www.halophyte.org/pdfs/gulpapers/Seed%20ban...eat%20Basin%20salt%20playa.pdf 

    great basin salt plants chapter book preview (fairly extensive plant list) 
    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=vazyaTY...FGRaQa2Jf8#v=onepage&q&f=false 

    and a case study of one of the Jordan projects 
    http://www.proactnetwork.org/proactwebsite/media/d...sestudies/em.report.case_9.pdf 

    and some dryland water strategies 
    http://permaculturenews.org/2012/09/15/reflections...-water-management-in-portugal/ 

    These plants could be great for dryland greywater systems as well since many are tolerant of innundation as well as salt. 

    Other uses could be fiber and cordage, weaving basketry, mats, and curtains (always useful in the desert), fodder, insulation (clay slip coated or not), habitat...more? 

    Please help me improve this list and resource


    towards an ecological society...

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    Neil Bertrando
    Neil Bertrando : a couple of comments to add to this re: strategies for managing saline lands. 1. find out any and all uses of all plants and animals which exist on the land...including how disturbance might affect them 2. consider that rainwater infiltration on site may wash salt through soils. include this as an appropriate strategy (including improving infiltration and drainage by techniques such as keyline pattern cultivation.

    thanks to Eric Toensmeier and Owen Hablutzel for adding to the options that we can use in difficult situations.
    Posted over 6 years ago

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