Author: Salah Abdelaty Attia-Ismail

Halophytic Plants for Animal Feed: Associated Botanical and Nutritional Characteristics

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $83
Printed Copy: US $59
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-981-5050-39-4 (Print)
ISBN: 978-981-5050-38-7 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2022
DOI: 10.2174/97898150503871220101


Halophytic plants are a fascinating group of plants that also serve as dietary feed for livestock. Their utilization is essential for sustainable agriculture and maintaining ecological balance. This book explains the nature of halophytic plants through an in-depth presentation of their botanical and nutritional characteristics. Chapters of the book highlight different aspects of halophytes on a botanical, histological, ecological and nutritional basis when utilized as animal feed components. The issues of the histo-chemical aspects of halophytes are addressed with regard to their impact on nutrient compositions and availability to animals, while the important nutrient contents of halophytes are considered in relation to their value to animals.

Key Features:

  • - 10 organized chapters on halophytic plants
  • - Explains the relationship between botanical and nutritional characteristics of halophytes when utilized as animal feed components
  • - Covers information about important nutrient contents and secondary metabolites in halophytes
  • - Includes information on nutritional and feeding values for animals
  • - Includes informative diagram and tables
  • - Includes references for further reading

This book fills a notable gap in available literature on the subject, and will stimulate researchers to pursue the many unanswered questions in the field of biosaline agriculture. This text serves as reading material for undergraduate and graduate level courses and specializations in agriculture, animal nutrition, animal physiology, botany and plant physiology. It also serves as supplementary reading for students of taxonomy, ecology, and environmental science courses. Professional and apprentice livestock farmers will also benefit from the information presented by the book.


As climate variability becomes more pronounced and many areas of productive land become marginal, the focus of attention must turn to ways to utilize what might otherwise be designated as wasteland. Approximately 1000 million hectares or seven per cent of the world's land area is salt affected. Estimates suggest that about 74 million hectares are salt-affected due to human causes (secondary salinity) of this, 40 million hectares are irrigated land in the world's semiarid and arid regions and 31 million hectares is non-irrigated land. Fortunately, there are ways to utilize this salt-affected land and indeed to use the abundant salty water that is often available nearby. That option is made possible by use of halophytic and salt tolerant plants. There is a rich literature on this. The real problem though, is how to use the biomass that can be produced from halophytic plants. Several possibilities exist, such as carbon sequestration, biomass fuel production, use in soil remediation (using plants as ‘salt pumps’) and of course as forage/fodder for livestock.

Researchers have been interested in aspects of halophyte utilization for many decades and dedicated research centers have been established in several countries. Interest in research on the halophytic and salt tolerant plants and their utilization peaked in the late 1980s to mid 1990s and several important international conferences and workshops were held in different places around the world with several compendium volumes published. Many research centers were established with the purpose to develop halophyte utilization. Renewed interest was sparked in the early part of the twenty-first century and it continues to this present time.

For many livestock the salt content of halophytic plants is too high or the secondary plant metabolite content makes diets composed of them unpalatable or anti-nutritional. High salt loads can exacerbate the physiological stress associated with high heat loads, leading to loss of appetite, and severe body weight loss and other symptoms. Many of these aspects were canvassed in the book Halophytic and Salt-Tolerant Feedstuffs: Impacts on Nutrition, Physiology and Reproduction of Livestock. But what remains to be done is to zero-in on the specifics to further explain the biochemistry, animal response when halophytes forage/fodders are presented and ingested.

The current book relates botanical to nutritional characteristics and discusses different aspects of halophytes on botanical, histological, ecological and nutritional basis (as fed to animals). This area represents a knowledge gap that this book fills. It discusses the utilization of halophytes as feed components to ruminants under both intensive and extensive conditions. It fills a gap in the literature and stimulate young researchers to pursue the still many unanswered questions. A clear understanding of the role of halophytic plants in livestock nutrition is critical, which makes this book a timely synthesis.

Victor R. Squires
Guest Professor, Institute for Desertification Studies, Beijing
Former, Director National Key Center for Dryland Agriculture and Land Use Systems
University of Adelaide