In recent years, global climate change has been altering environmental (severe drought, soil salinization, irregular precipitation, etc.), around world, decreasing crop yield and upsetting the balance of ecosystems. Nonetheless, a group of plants known as halophytes have the ability to survive and develop in saline soils (wetlands, deserts or temperate zones), may be used in agriculture as a possible alternative to crops (salt-sensitive), as well as for fodder, energy production, medicinal purposes, and desalination of salt-affected areas (phytoremediation). This chapter provides a comprehensive summary of the adaptive strategies used by the annual and perennial halophytes on ecophysiological perspectives, to survive in diverse habitats. The results show a great diverse strategies, such as heteromorphism, seed banks, dormancy, rapid germination, and recovery capacity, from saline shock, favoring the chances of seed survival, although these mechanisms depend on light, moisture, temperature, and the type of salt, in which seeds germinate. In addition, it has been included some molecular, and biochemical aspects, discovered in last years, that might improve our understanding of physiology of these plants. It can conclude that halophytes may be as a possible alternative to ease pressure on cropping systems, restored lands degraded, or confer stress tolerance trough gene transfer.
Part of the book: Seed Dormancy and Germination