Salt separation processes in salt cedar Tamarix ramosissima (Ledeb.)

Rudy Sookbirsingh, University of Texas at El Paso


Salt cedar (genus Tamarix, Family Tamaricaceae) is an exotic, invasive plant in southwestern North America; it has a poor reputation as a heavy-consumer of water and a threat to the landscape and ecology of the region. This study focuses upon salt-separation mechanisms in the salt cedar species Tamarix ramossissima (Ledeb.) which were investigated with a variety of microscopic techniques. The results indicate that this species can produce different salt crystal aggregates morphologies from its vesiculated trichomes, and may use variable mechanisms for separating anions and cations of various salts. It was additionally found that salt crystals aggregates in this species seem to track elemental characteristics of the soil with respect to salts and metals. The latter finding suggests that while the plant may be an invasive nuisance, it may also be eventually useful as a soil-quality environmental indicator or possibly and environmental indicator.

Subject Area

Environmental science

Recommended Citation

Sookbirsingh, Rudy, "Salt separation processes in salt cedar Tamarix ramosissima (Ledeb.)" (2009). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3390626.