Physiological and morphological characterisation of Limonium species in their natural habitats : Insights into their abiotic stress responses
González-Orenga, Sara ; Llinares, Josep V. ; Hassan, Mohamad Al; Fita, Ana ; Collado, Francisco ; Lisón, Purificación ; Vicente, Oscar ; Boscaiu, Monica - \ 2020
Plant and Soil 449 (2020)1-2. - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 267 - 284.
Antioxidants - Climate change - Drought - Endemics - Osmolytes - Salt marshes - Soil analysis
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.
Beneficial use of dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development by applying a ‘Mud Motor’
Baptist, Martin J. ; Gerkema, T. ; Prooijen, B.C. van; Maren, D.S. van; Regteren, M. van; Schulz, K. ; Colosimo, I. ; Vroom, J. ; Kessel, T. van; Grasmeijer, B. ; Willemsen, P. ; Elschot, K. ; Groot, A.V. de; Cleveringa, J. ; Eekelen, E.M.M. van; Schuurman, F. ; Lange, H.J. de; Puijenbroek, M.E.B. van - \ 2019
Ecological Engineering 127 (2019). - ISSN 0925-8574 - p. 312 - 323.
Building with Nature - Nature-based solutions - Cohesive sediment - Dredging - Salt marshes - intertidal flats
We test an innovative approach to beneficially re-use dredged sediment to enhance salt marsh development. A Mud Motor is a dredged sediment disposal in the form of a semi-continuous source of mud in a shallow tidal channel allowing natural processes to disperse the sediment to nearby mudflats and salt marshes. We describe the various steps in the design of a Mud Motor pilot: numerical simulations with a sediment transport model to explore suitable disposal locations, a tracer experiment to measure the transport fate of disposed mud, assessment of the legal requirements, and detailing the planning and technical feasibility. An extensive monitoring and research programme was designed to measure sediment transport rates and the response of intertidal mudflats and salt marshes to an increased sediment load. Measurements include the sediment transport in the tidal channel and on the shallow mudflats, the vertical accretion of intertidal mudflats and salt marsh, and the salt marsh vegetation cover and composition. In the Mud Motor pilot a total of 470,516 m 3
of fine grained sediment (D50 of ∼10 μm) was disposed over two winter seasons, with an average of 22 sediment disposals per week of operation. Ship-based measurements revealed a periodic vertical salinity stratification that is inverted compared to a classical estuary and that is working against the asymmetric flood-dominated transport direction. Field measurements on the intertidal mudflats showed that the functioning of the Mud Motor, i.e. the successful increased mud transport toward the salt marsh, is significantly dependent on wind and wave forcing. Accretion measurements showed relatively large changes in surface elevation due to deposition and erosion of layers of
watery mud with a thickness of up to 10 cm on a time scale of days. The measurements indicate notably higher sediment dynamics during periods of Mud Motor disposal. The salt marsh demonstrated significant vertical accretion though this has not yet led to horizontal expansion because there was more hydrodynamic stress than foreseen. In carrying out the pilot we learned that the feasibility of a Mud Motor depends on an assessment of additional travel time for the dredger, the effectiveness on salt marsh growth, reduced dredging volumes in a port, and many other practical issues. Our improved understanding on the transport processes in the channel and on the mudflats and salt marsh yields design lessons and guiding principles for future applications of sediment
management in salt marsh development that include a Mud Motor approach