Home >> Archives

International Journal of Pure & Applied Bioscience (IJPAB)
Year : 2017, Volume : 5, Issue : 2
First page : (14) Last page : (21)
Article doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18782/2320-7051.2847

Leaf Functional Trait Variation Associated with Salinity Tolerance in Salvadora persica

Taieb Tounekti1*, Turki Ali Al-Turki2, Mosbah Mahdhi1, and Habib Khemira1
1Centre for Environmental Research and Studies, Jazan University, Jazan 82817, Saudi Arabia
2Natural Resources and Environmental Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. 6086, Riyadh-11442, Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding Author E-mail: tounekti_taiebb@yahoo.com
Received: 13.04.2017  |  Revised: 22.04.2017   |  Accepted: 25.04.2017  


Morphological leaf traits that mediate environmental effects on plant fitness are often regarded as ‘functional traits’. These traits influence plant physiological responses to their immediate environment, which in turn affect performance, growth and survival. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of the medium salinity on several plant traits including functional leaf traits, gas exchange, and leaf stomatal density of Salvadora persica. We considered how functional leaf traits such as leaf mass area (LMA), specific leaf area (SLA), succulence index (S), leaf dry mass contents (LDMC) and leaf thickness (Lth) differs between populations growing in nonsaline (ECe 5 dS m-1) and saline habitats (ECe 25 dS m-1). Our results showed a significant decrease (27%) in leaf area (LA) of S. persica growing under saline habitats. The leaf characteristics reveal that this facultative halophyte adapted to increased salinity by shifting from fast-growth to slow-growth with conservation of water and nutrients. For instance, the SLA decreased while LMA increased for plants growing under saline condition. The lower values of SLA (or higher values of LMA) contribute to lengthening leaf life-span, nutrient retention, and protection from dehydration of plants. However, the Lth, LDMC and S increased under such conditions. The increases in LDMC correlatedwith decreases in the photosynthetic assimilation (A). In fact, our results showed that the medium salinity induced both stomatal closure (decline of gs) , lower leaf stomata density (SD)and reduced A. Consequently, A/gs ratio decreased slightly indicating a non-stomatal limitation to the photosynthesis. Besides, the medium salinity has increased the instantaneous water use efficiency (iWUE), which is often considered as an indicator of salt tolerance.

Key words: Saline habitats, specific leaf area, leaf thickness, water use efficiency, stomata density

Full Text : PDF; Journal doi : http://dx.doi.org/10.18782

Cite this article: Tounekti, T., Al-Turki, T.A., Mahdhi, M. and Khemira, H., Leaf Functional Trait Variation Associated with Salinity Tolerance in Salvadora persica, Int. J. Pure App. Biosci.5(2): 14-21 (2017). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18782/2320-7051.2847