HALOPHYTES AND XEROHALOPHYTES

Saline habitats occur along bodies of saltwater, e.g., coastal salt marsh, and inland within high-evaporation basins, inland saline lakes, and lowlands of dryland and desert topography. The electrolytes sodium (a cation) and chloride (an anion) are extremely toxic to most plants at relatively low soil water concentrations, due to deleterious effects on cellular metabolism and ultrastructure.

A saline habitat often has a low diversity of plants, sometimes even just one dominant species, because so few species are able to resist salt damage, and those that do have special microhabitats that are optimal.

To learn more about salt-resistant plants:

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