High and fluctuating salinity is characteristic for coastal salt marshes, which strongly affect the physiology of halophytes consequently resulting in changes in stable isotope distribution. The natural abundance of stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) of the halophyte plant Salicornia brachiata and physico-chemical characteristics of soils were analysed in order to investigate the relationship of stable isotope distribution in different populations in a growing period in the coastal area of Gujarat, India. Aboveground and belowground biomass of S. brachiata was collected from six different populations at five times (September 2014, November 2014, January 2015, March 2015 and May 2015). The δ13C values in aboveground (−30.8 to −23.6 ‰, average: −26.6 ± 0.4 ‰) and belowground biomass (−30.0 to −23.1 ‰, average: −26.3 ± 0.4 ‰) were similar. The δ13C values were positively correlated with soil salinity and Na concentration, and negatively correlated with soil mineral nitrogen. The δ15N values of aboveground (6.7–16.1 ‰, average: 9.6 ± 0.4 ‰) were comparatively higher than belowground biomass (5.4–13.2 ‰, average: 7.8 ± 0.3 ‰). The δ15N values were negatively correlated with soil available P. We conclude that the variation in δ13C values of S. brachiata was possibly caused by soil salinity (associated Na content) and N limitation which demonstrates the potential of δ13C as an indicator of stress in plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental Science(all)
- Inorganic Chemistry