The loss of agro-biodiversity, climate changes and food insecurity are major challenges in the Mediterranean countries with potentially multidimensional consequences. With respect to salinity, approximately 18 million ha, corresponding to 25 % of total irrigated land in the Mediterranean area, are salt affected. Intensive cropping and the excessive use of expensive inputs such as water and fertilizers aggravate this situation. Understanding how we could improve crop productivity in salinized environments is therefore critical to face these challenges. Our comprehension of fundamental physiological mechanisms in plant salt stress adaptation has greatly advanced over the last decades. However, many of these mechanisms have been linked to salt tolerance in simplified experimental systems whereas they have been rarely functionally proven in real agricultural contexts. The sustainability of farming systems in salt affected Mediterranean soils can be effectively achieved by the use of salt-tolerant halophyte plants even more effective through the use of intercropping, crop rotation and aquaponics. Moreover, if these halophyte plants are removed from the soil to grow other species, pressure on generating salt-tolerant crop plants would be reduced and much healthier crop plants would be cultivated in less stressed saline soils. This paper will focus on the sustainable practices based on the cultivation of halophytes in saline soils by highlighting some experimental activities carried out at laboratory and field levels in the last few years.

Halophyte based Mediterranean agriculture in the contexts of food insecurity and global climate change

Castagna A.;Ranieri A.;Santin M.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The loss of agro-biodiversity, climate changes and food insecurity are major challenges in the Mediterranean countries with potentially multidimensional consequences. With respect to salinity, approximately 18 million ha, corresponding to 25 % of total irrigated land in the Mediterranean area, are salt affected. Intensive cropping and the excessive use of expensive inputs such as water and fertilizers aggravate this situation. Understanding how we could improve crop productivity in salinized environments is therefore critical to face these challenges. Our comprehension of fundamental physiological mechanisms in plant salt stress adaptation has greatly advanced over the last decades. However, many of these mechanisms have been linked to salt tolerance in simplified experimental systems whereas they have been rarely functionally proven in real agricultural contexts. The sustainability of farming systems in salt affected Mediterranean soils can be effectively achieved by the use of salt-tolerant halophyte plants even more effective through the use of intercropping, crop rotation and aquaponics. Moreover, if these halophyte plants are removed from the soil to grow other species, pressure on generating salt-tolerant crop plants would be reduced and much healthier crop plants would be cultivated in less stressed saline soils. This paper will focus on the sustainable practices based on the cultivation of halophytes in saline soils by highlighting some experimental activities carried out at laboratory and field levels in the last few years.
2021
Ben Hamed, K.; Castagna, A.; Ranieri, A.; Garcia-Caparros, P.; Santin, M.; Hernandez, J. A.; Espin, G. B.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1105312
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