Author: Salah Abdelaty Attia-Ismail

Halophytic Plants for Animal Feed: Associated Botanical and Nutritional Characteristics

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $90
Printed Copy: US $65
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.


The State of Food and Agriculture (2007, FAO report) shows that despite unprecedented global economic growth, 1.1 billion people continue to live in extreme poverty and more than 850 million people suffer from chronic hunger while ecosystems are being threatened as never before. In 2017, the number of undernourished people is estimated to have reached 821 million – around one person out of every nine in the world (The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World – 2018, FAO report).

Agriculture faces major problems – and they are perhaps as old as the agriculture – such as salinization and aridization, the first being a very common process, but difficult to control and ameliorate. According to some estimation, between 7% (about 930 million hectares) and 10% (approximately 954 million hectares) of the land areas are salt-affected. From these areas, about 60-100 million hectares are the result of human activity: poor irrigation, in particular, increases the salinity of agricultural land. Almost half of the world's irrigation systems are affected by salinization and waterlogging. However, the advantage of irrigation is evident: although irrigation systems occupy about 15% of global agricultural system, productivity provided by these surfaces is at least two fold higher than non-irrigated land.

In this scenario of food crisis and environmental problems, salinity and halophytes seem to act as two major key-factors.

The interest in the study of halophytes is still argued by theoretical reasons, and especially by the current context of human condition, regarded as a well-defined part of surrounding environment. Salinity has affected agriculture from millennia, having a deeply negative impact in agriculture and most likely, being involved in the fall of agriculture of some ancient flourishing civilizations.

There are several works – I refer here only on books, while the number of scientific publications must be huge – focused on different aspects of halophytes: biology, ecology, physiology, biochemistry, taxonomy.

However, in this field of study I learned that halophytes remain a fascinating and yet surprising topic and new approaches that bring additional data are always welcome.

Salah Abdelaty Attia-Ismail
Emeritus Professor
Desert Research Center
Cairo, Egypt
July 2019