Since the arrival and settlement of European farmers two hundred years ago, dryland and irrigated-land salinity have become problematic for the Australian environment, despite the fact much of our natural landscape is naturally saline. The response of plants to salinity has been explained as a two-phase growth response. The first phase of growth reduction is characterised by osmotic stress due to salts in the outside solution, while the second phase develops after salt build-up in transpiring leaves and shows clear genotypic variation (Fortmeier and Schubert, 1995).
Salinity impairs plant growth through osmotic effects, specific ion toxicities, and induced nutrient deficiencies (Wyn Jones, 1981). High salt stress has been found to interrupt homeostasis in regard to water potential and ion distribution which can lead to molecular damage, growth and arrest. It is for this reason, environmentalists and environmental organisations are so concerned about the consequences of salinity on the Australian environment for plant species, animals and humans. According to the 2000 National Land and Water Resources Audit, the water quality of eighty wetlands across Australia is either affected or threatened by dryland salinity.
The study conducted by Abgoola (1997) demonstrates the varying reactions different seeds have to salinity. The study shows that two of six the seeds experience accelerated growth with increased NaCl concentration. This idea encourages a close examination of germination between seeds in non-tropical environments and if they could adapt to the salinity in the Australian environment.
The aim of this experiment is founded on previous well-known studies. The aim is to determine the overall effect of increased salt concentration on seed germination, and to compare differences between the effects of different NaCl concentrations on the fenugreek.
Two salt solutions of...