Diversity and Distribution of Salt-Tolerant Plants of the United Arab Emirates: Perspectives for Sustainable Utilization and Future Research

  • Sanjay GairolaEmail author
  • Tamer Mahmoud
  • Hatem A. Shabana
Part of the Tasks for Vegetation Science book series (TAVS, volume 49)


This chapter provides an overview of halophytic flora of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and efforts to conserve these genetic resources through seed banking. The halophytic vegetation of UAE is comprised of 74 species, belonging to 19 families, and distributed along the coastal and nearby inland saline areas in the country. The majority of these species belong to Amaranthaceae, followed by Cyperaceae, Poaceae, Fabaceae, and Zygophyllaceae. More information about habitat distribution, salinity tolerance, and other ecophysiological details of these species is needed. The conservation of halophytic species and assessment of viability are underway in SSBH, and so far great progress has been made to conserve their germplasm. The conserved germplasm in seed banks can be used for various research and development purposes including combating desertification, habitat restoration, and promoting greenery in the coastal as well as inland habitats in the hyper-arid deserts. Halophytes of the UAE could be sustainably exploited for an array of uses including chemicals, native plant landscaping, biofuel, medicinal, soil rehabilitation, and a number of other useful purposes.


Desert Halophytes Conservation Sharjah Seed Bank and Herbarium UAE 



We thank Dr. Amr Abdel-Hamid, Director General of the Sharjah Research Academy, for the encouragement and support. Thanks are also to Prof. Ali El-Keblawy (University of Sharjah) for his valuable comments/suggestions that greatly improved this book chapter. Mohammed Hasan and Mohammed Fiaz of SSBH are thanked for their help during field collections and seed separation. Reena Cordeiro provided valuable assistance at various stages of preparation of this chapter, and we sincerely thank her.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanjay Gairola
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tamer Mahmoud
    • 1
  • Hatem A. Shabana
    • 1
  1. 1.Sharjah Seedbank and HerbariumSharjah Research AcademySharjahUnited Arab Emirates

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