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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 43 No. 2, p. 578-586
    Received: July 04, 2013
    Published: June 23, 2014

    * Corresponding author(s): janusz.zwiazek@ualberta.ca
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Responses of Rat Root (Acorus americanus Raf.) Plants to Salinity and pH Conditions

  1. Monica Calvo-Polancoab,
  2. María Alejandra Equizaa,
  3. Jorge Señoransa and
  4. Janusz J. Zwiazek *a
  1. a Univ. of Alberta, Dep. of Renewable Resources, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E3 Canada
    b current address: Estación Experimental del Zaidín. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Dep. of Soil Microbiology and Symbiotic Systems, 18008, Granada, Spain


Growth and physiological parameters were examined in rat root (Acorus americanus Raf.) plants grown under controlled environment conditions in hydroponics and subjected to different pH and salinity treatments to determine whether these environmental factors may contribute to poor establishment of A. americanus in oil sands constructed wetlands. When A. americanus plants were subjected to a root zone pH ranging from 6.0 to 9.5, the plants that were growing at pH 7.0 showed the highest relative growth rates and chlorophyll concentrations compared with lower and higher pH levels. The greatest inhibition of growth occurred at pH ranging from 8.0 to 9.5. High pH also triggered significant reductions in tissue concentrations of N, P, and microelements, whereas the concentrations of Mg increased at pH >8. When NaCl (25, 50, and 100 mmol L−1) was added to the nutrient solution at pH 7.0 and 8.5, higher mortality and greater tissue concentrations of Na and Cl were measured in plants growing at pH 8.5 compared with pH 7.0. The results show that A. americanus plants growing at the optimum pH of 7.0 can better tolerate salinity compared with plants exposed to high root zone pH. Both pH and salinity may present important environmental constraints to growth and establishment of A. americanus plants in oil sands constructed wetlands.

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