Putting Halophytes to Work - From Genes to Ecosystems



The main objective of the Action is to collate existing knowledge of halophytes from gene function to ecosystems that will impact on conservation and management of saline environments and agricultural productions.

The growing human population presents a huge challenge to world agriculture. As more than 40% of the Earth is arid or semi-arid and most of the planet's water is saline, we advocate the sustainable use of these under-exploited resources for human benefit. Halophytes have evolved in saline habitats and are an untapped source of food, fibre and bioenergy. Deepening our understanding of halophytes and saline ecosystems will help combat salinisation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and bioproductivity.

Our goal is to create an interdisciplinary group of scientists to bridge gaps between disciplines by jointly exploring the biodiversity of halophytes, re-evaluating their uses as crops, including bioenergy, as sources of salt-resistance genes and for use in the restoration and rehabilitation of salinized or contaminated land. The Action will tackle the problems of salt-affected agricultural land and support the timely development of a saline agriculture using brackish water as a replacement or a supplement for diminishing freshwater.


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