Botany – Spring 2013
EOL: Batis Maritima
Batis maritima is a dioecious plant that is also known as saltwort or turtle weed that occurs in the sub tropics of the new world (Ronse De Craaene, L. 2005). They can be found on both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean’s tropic coasts from North America to South America. They have adapted in growing in salty coastlines, less than a meter above sea level. This is made possible because their leaves are covered by hairs that minimize water loss. Their environment contains steep gradients, that has fairly mild salinity around the terrestrial borders but the salinity becomes severe in salt pans and water logged areas (Richards, C, Pennings, S. & Donovan, L 2005).
One of the benefits of Batis maritima is the role it plays in the regeneration of degraded mangrove forests. This plant was because of their ability to go through redox condition in a less stressful way, it was able to regenerate mangroves where they had been planted compared to surrounding areas like mudflats observed (Tinsley, M. & Milbrandt, E 2006). Another advantage that B. maritima provides in the aid of early colonization is that the temperature in still waters of B. maritima is substantially less than that of mudflats (Tinsley, M. & Milbrandt, E 2006).
Another area that is being explored is the use of halophytes such as B. maritima to produce relatively high consumable biomass in regions where other species cannot grow or have low dry matter yield (El Shaer, H 2010). With the population increasing in developing countries, there are increasing problems finding forage to feed the cattle. The feed quality of these plants depends on a combination of climate, soil, and plant factors but have economic potentialities in arid and semi arid areas (El Shaer, H 2010).
Louis P. Ronse De Craene 2013. Floral developmental evidence for the systematic position of
Batis (Batacse); available at:...
References: Louis P. Ronse De Craene 2013. Floral developmental evidence for the systematic position of Batis (Batacse); available at: www.amjbot.org/content/92/4/752.full accessed on March 9, 2013.
Christina L. Richards, Steven C. Pennings and Lisa A. Donovan 2013. Habitat range and phenotypic variation in salt marsh plants; available at: http://www.plantbio.uga.edu
/~donovan/Publication%20PDFs/Richards%20Pennings%20Donovan%20PE%2005.pdf accessed on March 9, 2013.
E.C Milbrandt & M.N Tinsley 2013. The role of salwort (Batis maritima L.) in regeneration of degraded mangrove forests; available at: https://sccf.org/files/content/docs/ Milbrandt%20and%20Tinsley%202006.pdf accessed on March 9, 2013.
Hassan M. El Shaer 2013. Halophytes and salt-tolerant plants as potential forage for ruminants
in the Near East region; available at: http://ipac.kacst.edu.sa/edoc/2011/195459_1.pdf accessed on March 9, 2013.
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