Solonetz Plants

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Solonetz Plants

 

plants that grow on solonetzes and similar soils.

Solonetz plants are well adapted to the particular features of the water-salt regime and physical properties of solonetzes—such as impermeability, high density, alkalinity, and salinity of the lower soil strata. Thus, they are capable of enduring considerable desiccation, compaction of the root-inhabited stratum, and periodic enrichment by water-soluble salts during moist periods of the year. They combine the features of xerophytes and halo-phytes: (1) their tissues accumulate osmotically active substances that ensure water supply (organic acids, sugars); (2) their organs of transpiration develop a downy and scaly exterior; (3) some of the leaves drop off to protect the plant from excess evaporation and heating; (4) the plant’s vital activity slows, especially its growth processes, during dry periods; and (5) a surface root system develops.

Solonetz plants are found in steppes, semideserts, and deserts. Typical representatives include Vitex, Camphorosma, Salsola, Leymus, Artemis pauciflora, Atriplex cana, and Anabasis salsa. Most solonetz plants are readily eaten by agricultural animals. They can serve as indicator plants for the identification of solonetzes and similar soils.

P. A. GENKEL’

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.