The mineral relations of the halophytic root hemiparasite Odontites verna ssp. serotina and stem holoparasite Cuscuta salina var. major were compared. The xylem hemiparasite Odontites occurs on the upper parts of Dutch Wadden salt marshes attached to the roots of salt excluding monocotyledonous plant species. Cuscuta was sampled in San Francisco Bay (U.S.A.) salt marshes parasitizing Salicornia pacifica of the lower marsh zones. Despite salt accumulation in the host plant Salicornia, the phloem feeder Cuscuta maintains a relatively low Na concentration and a high potassium/calcium (125) ratio. In contrast, the xylemxylem contact between the strongly transpiring hemiparasite Odontites and its host leads to a 5 to 7-fold increase of the sodium as well as calcium and magnesium content in the hemiparasite shoot tissue. The K/Ca ratio in the attached hemiparasite (8.2) was much lower than in the halophytic holoparasite Cuscuta. The ecological consequences of the differences between the hemi and holoparasite are discussed. In both holoparasites and hemiparasites contact organs on the shoot and the stem enable the transfer of nutrients from the host to the parasite. In this paper a comparison is made between the mineral relations of a hemiparasite and a holoparasite occurring in salt marshes.

Acta botanica neerlandica

CC BY 3.0 NL ("Naamsvermelding")

Koninklijke Nederlandse Botanische Vereniging

J. Rozema, R. Broekman, W. Arp, J. Letschert, M. van Esbroek, & H. Punte. (1986). A comparison of the mineral relations of a halophytic hemiparasite and holoparasite. Acta botanica neerlandica, 35(2), 105–109.