US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Trees (2013) 27: 7-11. DOI: 10.1007/s00468-012-0767-7


Scientists have discussed the halophytic nature of intertidal plants for decades, and have generally suggested that inherent differentiation of an obligate halophyte from a facultative halophyte relates strongly to whether the plant can survive in fresh water, and not much else. In this minireview, we provide additional insight to support the pervasive notion that mangroves as a group are truly facultative halophytes, and thus add discourse to the alternate view that mangroves have an obligate salinity requirement. Indeed, growth and physiological optima are realized at moderate salinity concentrations in mangroves, but we maintain the notion that current evidence suggests that survival is not dependent upon a physiological requirement for salt.