Tolerance of a Strandline Plant, Alternanthera maritima (mart.) A.ST.-HIL to Foliar Salt Spray: Suitable for Beach Landscaping  

Otitoloju Kekere
Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Horticulture, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 7   doi: 10.5376/ijh.2014.04.0007
Received: 24 Mar., 2014    Accepted: 09 Apr., 2014    Published: 15 Apr., 2014
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Kekere et al., 2014, Tolerance of a Strandline Plant, Alternanthera maritima (mart.) A.ST.-HIL to Foliar Salt Spray: Suitable for Beach Landscaping, International Journal of Horticulture, 2014, Vol.4, No.7 32-39 (doi: 10.5376/ijh.2014.04.0007)

Abstract

Salt spray tolerant plants are important to landscapers due to high mortality and low aesthetic value of ornamental plants in coastal communities. Alternanthera maritima (Mart.) A.St.-Hil. a widely distributed strandline plant in West Africa, was treated with salt spray to investigate its response and suitability for seaside landscaping. Plants were sprayed with seawater at: two sprays/week (2SS), four sprays/week (4SS), six sprays/week (6SS) and control (CSS)-sprayed with deionized water. All plants survived, shoot growth and total biomass increased, rootshoot ratio and leaf total chlorophyll decreased, while root growth was unaffected under seawater treatments. Salt spray disrupted water balance through reduced xylem water potential and increased leaf and stem succulence for ion dilution. It also caused nutrient imbalance by accumulating Na+ and Cl- in the aerial parts and reduced some essential nutrients. N increased in the aerial parts showing the presence of salt-related nitrogen compounds for osmotic adjustment. Plants had reduced leaf area, stomata density and stomata number/leaf to minimize water loss. Except at 6SS, percentage necrotic leaf area and plant visual ratings did not differ significantly from the control. Alternanthera maritima is a salt spray tolerant, with adaptations for survival in the strandline. It is suitable for sea side landscaping.

Keywords
Growth; Ecophysiology; Adaptations; Necrosis; Landscape
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