alexa 17 – Germination Eco-Physiology and Plant Diversity in Halophytes of Sundarban Mangrove Forest

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17 – Germination Eco-Physiology and Plant Diversity in Halophytes of Sundarban Mangrove Forest

The eco-physiology of germination of two halophyte species and plant community types of different ecological zones (Oligohaline, Mesohaline, and Polyhaline zones) were studied. Xylocarpus mekongensis showed an increasing trend in germination at 5 ppt NaCl salinity and decreased with a further increase in the salinity (15 ppt). Heritiera fomes showed more than 80% germination under natural conditions with healthy seedlings but died at the end of winter due to lack of freshwater supply. Plant community types of halophytes of different ecological zones from Sundarban mangrove forest were identified and changes were discussed. Dominant plant species of the ecological zones and the nature of adaptation were evaluated. Formation of consociation in the Polyhaline zone and also to a lesser extent in the Mesohaline zone of the halophytes was observed. In contrast, the Oligohaline zone exhibited a mixed plant community. Seasonal variations in soil salinity (conductivity) in the river water from selected locations showed strong variation and was several times higher in the Oligohaline zone at the end of the winter season (March) than the monsoon season, which is due to the non-availability of a freshwater supply from upstream through the Ganges River. Seedlings of Sonneratia apetala planted (monoculture) in the Oligohaline zone in the experimental plot showed 96% establishment and vigorous growth within 3 years.


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