ID: 613 / 119

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: Salinity is a global problem that is being exacerbated by global change through increasing aridity, sea level rise and salt water intrusion. The consequences are devastating and widespread, threatening food security, accelerating biodiversity loss and impacting the lives of billions of people. Salinity impacts the growth and regeneration of all plants through toxic and osmotic effects, along with hypoxia in coastal environments that are subjected to flooding. Yet less than 2 % of plant species are truly salt tolerant (known as halophytes). For plants that regenerate by seed, the traits which confer salt tolerance (or avoidance) are critical for survival, and germination niche requirements to salt influence temporal and spatial components of emergence. Yet significant gaps remain in our understanding as to which seed traits are the most important, if universal rules apply across taxonomic or geographical scales or if plasticity in traits is a consequence of the maternal environment. This symposium will discuss the seed functional traits that underpin natural plant regeneration in saline environments and present a forward perspective as to how research into seed functional traits can help mitigate against the global devastation of salinity.

Speaker 1: Prof. Bilquees Gul University of Karachi, Pakistan e-mail: Tentative talk title: Antioxidant responses of halophyte seeds and seedlings to salinity induced oxidative stress

Speaker 2: Dr Silvia Del Vecchio Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy e-mail: Tentative talk title: Interaction of salinity and emergent pollutants on the germination niche of saltmarsh species

Speaker 3: Dr Bárbara França Dantas Embrapa Semiárido e-mail: Tentative talk title: Salinity tolerance of seeds and seedlings of dry forest species and their integration in a biosaline production system aimed at restoration

Topics (Up to three): Ecology and Plant Communities

Topic 2: Ecophysiology

Topic 3: Global Change Ecology

Justification: We have carefully selected speakers from Brazil, Italy and Pakistan to provide ethnic diversity and a broad biogeographical perspective spanning three continents. The speakers are experts in seed biology and salinity, studying different ecosystems and plant life forms (annuals and perennials, herbs and trees) and seed traits from germination (Del Vecchio) to antioxidant protection (Gul) and within the context of global change (Dantas). Since all speakers are female and are at a mid to established career stage, gender and career stage shall be balanced through the selection of three registered participants.