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s1 {font-kerning: none} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre} Salt water affects plants by dehydrating them. It starts of with the plants soaking in salt water with their roots. While plants need salt as every other organism, absorbing excess amounts of salt to the point where they can not get rid of it, forces the plant to accumulate and store it in its own cells. As a result of that, different types of plant process can get hindered or even stoped.   Salt water can have different sources beside it being naturally present in soil.Ice storms and ocean flooding caused by extreme storm surges along coastlines bringing salt water into places where it normally would not be found.

On the other hand, human interventions such as runoff from roads salted during snow can be a source. Cultivated soils can also build up high concentrations of salt. It builds up when crops leach other minerals throughout long years leaving only the salt behind. The salt can come from either irrigation water or it can also be already present in the soil. in fact, this is a big problem that one-fifth of the world’s crops land is affected by it. When salt dissolves into soil, sodium and chloride ions separate. Nutrients needed by plants such as potassium, Calcium and magnesium are then blocked by the Sodium ions.

Instead, Chloride ions are absorbed, which then move into the leaves and prohibit the plant’s photosynthetic capabilities. The Osmosis process is also severely altered, as the salt prevents roots from performing their cosmetic activity where nutrients move from an area of low concentration to an area of high concentration. As an effect of that, plants waste energy, that could have been used for making leaves, flowering and even their growth, trying to draw water with their roots. The saline water can have observable effects on plants. While moderate salt concentrations can slightly reduce the growth of plants, higher concentration can lead to plants dehydration which becomes visible when the leaves become yellow, brown and crinkle on the edges.

As the concentration rises even higher, hard crusty salt layers are formed on the soil surface and plants will defoliate and eventually die. Every plant has a different saline level tolerance. And factors such as climate, soil condition and soil makeup influence the plant’s salt-tolerance. For instance, hot weather conditions require more energy from plants to get water, resulting in salinity having a greater effect on plants. Some plants, mostly who are native to coastal lands or shine waterways, have developed methods to fight the effects of salt off. Some have special glands for secreting the excess salts, while others lower the concentration and minimise the toxicity by increasing their water content.When it comes to beans, they tend to close their stomata on their leaves to reduce the water loss through transpiration.

They also produce an amino acid called proline, which makes cell membranes less permeable, so that water can not just come out of the cells so readily. This experiment is significant because one of the “many adverse effects of global climate change is the rise of sea levels, which scientists say can increase the salinity level of fresh water reserves”.  Thus affecting agriculture sectors around the world. Coming from where the agricultural sector is often affected by droughts, I have first hand experience of what a damaged agricultural sector can do. It can lead to hunger and malnutrition.

Experiments like these need to be done on different types of plants in order to  find Salt-tolerant plants that can be used in the future.