Physiological and morphological characterisation of Limonium species in their natural habitats: Insights into their abiotic stress responses

Sara González-Orenga, Josep V. Llinares, Mohamad Al Hassan, Ana Fita, Francisco Collado, Purificación Lisón, Oscar Vicente*, Monica Boscaiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and aims: Morphological and biochemical traits of four halophytes of the genus Limonium were analysed in plants sampled from salt marshes in SE Spain. This work aimed to explore the mechanism(s) behind the adaptation of these species to stressful habitats, with particular emphasis on responses to drought. Methods: Plants of each species together with soil samples were collected in summer, which is the most stressful season in the Mediterranean. Soil parameters and plant morphological traits were determined, and the levels of several biochemical stress markers in plants were measured using spectrophotometric assays. A multivariate analysis was performed to correlate soil and plant data. Results: Morphological characteristics regarding the underground system topology and several biochemical traits (higher foliar Ca2+, sucrose and glucose, and lower proline, glycine-betaine and fructose) clearly separate L. santapolense individuals from plants of the other three species. Conclusions: Drought tolerance of L. santapolense in the field is mostly dependent on morphological adaptations: when growing in an arid location, plants of this species develop long taproots that can extract water from the deep, moist layers of the soil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume449
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Antioxidants
  • Climate change
  • Drought
  • Endemics
  • Osmolytes
  • Salt marshes
  • Soil analysis

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