Diversity of Chilean halophytes: distribution, origin and habit
Keywords:halophyte, plant diversity, saline ecosystems, eHALOPH
Halophyte species are recognized for their ability to survive in salty environments. However, this condition greatly varies among plant taxons, difficulting their proper classification. Currently, the eHALOPH database registers halophyte species from around the world, under a single salinity criterion. In the present study, the first list of halophyte species present in Chile made from eHALOPH is presented. Results indicate a diversity of 138 species, distributed in 32 families. Over 80% of species are herbaceous and nearly 55% are exotic. The largest richness was found in Coquimbo and Valparaíso regions, and the lowest in the insular territory. These results are a first approximation to halophyte diversity in Chile. At the same time, it poses a challenge to advance in their recognition in order to propose strategies for their conservation and use.
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