Anatomical adaptations and ionic homeostasis in aquatic halophyte Cyperus laevigatus L. Under high salinities

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Salinity is extremely hazardous to agriculture worldwide and its expanding constantly. Soil of almost 100 countries facing salinity problem including Pakistan. Cyperus laevigatus also act as salinity indicator species is a naturally adapted halophyte dispersed in subtropical regions of world. Six populations of C. laevigatus were collected from different saline habitats to evaluate adaptations regarding anatomical and physiological characteristics. C. laevigatus is perfectly adapted to harsh environmental conditions like dry barren soils, saline lakes, hyper-saline wetlands and salt marshes. Ecological success of this species is due to plasticity in physiological and anatomical characteristics to adapt variable environmental conditions. C. laevigatus is a halophyte, exhibited increased biomass production in moderately saline habitat. Higher uptake of K+ occurs to compensate the uptake of Na+ion contents, a striking feature of salt tolerant and halophytic species. Accumulation of osmoprotectants like proline, free amino acids, soluble sugar and protein contribute significantly to osmotic adjustment. Stem thickness enhanced as salinity level of habitat increased to store water in parenchymatous tissues under physiological drought. Intensive sclerification in root cortex provide mechanical strength to plant as well as prevent the radial leakage of water. Well-developed aerenchyma, increased vascular bundle area, broader vessels, small and dense stomata are critical to cope with environmental hazards. Population of Jahlar lake showing maximum biomass production indicate that this species grows better in moderate salinities. Therefore, this species will prove very useful for revegetation of salt affected rangeland and prairies by direct growth of such halophytic ecotypes. (C) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University.