Salt accumulation and physiology of naturally occurring grasses in saline soils in Australia

Mohammad Bhuiyan, Anantanarayanan Raman, Dennis Hodgkins, David Mitchell, Helen Nicol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Salinity is a major soil contamination problem in Australia. To explore salinity remediation, we evaluated the concentrations ofsodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and calcium (Ca) in roots and shoots and in the supporting soil of the naturallyoccurring grasses, Cynodon dactylon and Thinopyrum ponticum, at two salt-affected sites, Gumble and Cundumbul in central-westernNew South Wales, Australia. The physiological parameters of the two grass species, including net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatalconductance (gs), and intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), were investigated using one mature leaf from C. dactylon and T. ponticumpopulations. Increasing salinity levels in the topsoil had a significant influence on Ci and gs, whereas no significant effect occurredon Pn in C. dactylon and T. ponticum. The Pn values in C. dactylon and T. ponticum were greater at Cundumbul than at Gumble.The greater Mg concentration facilitated greater Pn in C. dactylon and T. ponticum populations at Cundumbul than Gumble. Withincreasing salinity levels in the soil, Na accumulation increased in C. dactylon and T. ponticum. The ratio between K and Na was > 1in roots and shoots of both populations irrespective of the sites. Bioaccumulation factor (BF) and translocation factor (TF) resultsrevealed that K and Na translocations were significantly higher in T. ponticum than in C. dactylon, whereas Ca and Mg translocationswere significantly higher in C. dactylon than in T. ponticum. Accumulation of Na, K, Mg, and Ca ions was higher in T. ponticum thanin C. dactylon; therefore, we suggest that T. ponticum as a greater salt accumulator than C. dactylon could be used for revegetationand phytoremediation of the salt-affected soils.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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