The endemic halophyte Sarcocornia carinata Fuente, Rufo & Sánchez-Mata (Chenopodiaceae) in relation to environmental variables: elemental composition and biominerals.
Abstract: Aims We propose a thorough study of the succulent halophyte Sarcocornia carinata endemic to the saline lagoons of the center of the Iberian Peninsula. We describe its elemental composition and possible seasonal variation in relation to edaphic and climatic variables, identify biominerals and analyze the distribution of salt ions and biominerals in tissue. Methods Plants and edaphic samples were collected in the four seasons of 1 year. Soils were analyzed for their pH, EC, color, and bioavailable concentration of Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl−, SO42−. Soils and plants were analyzed for their total elemental and mineralogical composition. The distribution of elements and minerals in tissues was studied by scanning electron microscopy. Results Despite the variations observed in the edaphic and climatic variables, the variables studied in the plants varied slightly throughout the year. In the plants, Mg was the element that reflected climatic changes the most, while the K and Ca concentrations did not vary. Salty precipitates and crystallizations were distributed mainly in the epidermis, water storage parenchyma, cortex, and vascular vessels. Several crystals observed were compatible with halite, gypsum, glushinskite and weddellite. Conclusions The study corroborates that inland S. carinata behaves in the same way as other littoral succulent euhalophytes and reinforces the hypothesis that the concentration of elements and quantitative abundance pattern depend largely on the main adaptation mechanisms of halophytes.
Universal identifier: http://hdl.handle.net/10641/2383
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