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Role of salt tolerant plants for production, prevention of salinity and amenity values

Loch, D.S., Barrett-Lennard, E.G. and Truong, P. (2003) Role of salt tolerant plants for production, prevention of salinity and amenity values. In: 9th National Conference on Productive Use and Rehabilitation of Saline Land (PURSL), 29 September - 2 October 2003, Rydges Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, QLD


Salt tolerant herbaceous plants potentially fill a number of vital roles in an Australian landscape increasingly affected by salinity,. In some cases, these are required simply for amenity use, which directly reflects their environmental and lifestyle values, but also contributes indirectly to the economy through industries such as tourism, mining, and aquaculture, and through coastal urban development. In other cases, they must also be able to contribute to agricultural production, usually via grazing animals.

Although not previously a focus of national policies on salinity, coastal areas require salt tolerant species (particularly grasses) for a diversity of uses. Examples include beach protection, rehabilitation of degraded sites, stabilisation of banks on saltwater aquaculture ponds, roadside plantings through estuaries, grassing of public foreshore parks (including some constructed on compacted marine sediment), and high quality turf for golf courses and home lawns. Mine revegetation (e.g. in the Bowen Basin) sometimes requires the use of salt tolerant species, as does the stabilisation of banks on tailings dams. Some salt tolerant plants (e.g. grasses, saltbushes) produce palatable forage, and so can be used to revegetate privately and publicly owned farmland increasingly affected by dryland salinity in inland Australia. For grazing use in particular, suitable plants should also cover a range of salt tolerance, from halophytic species for the worst affected sites through to less tolerant but more productive ones for moderately saline land. As yet, we do not have anything like the range of salt tolerant herbaceous plants (grasses, legumes, saltbushes, other forbs), both native and exotic, needed to tackle the prevention and amelioration of soil salinity effectively across the diversity of environment and uses required. in Australia

Item Type: Conference Paper
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