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close this section of the library Rao, Shiwangni


View the PDF document Salinity tolerance of giant swap taro (cyrtosperma merkusii); In vitro & In vivo
Author:Rao, Shiwangni
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.Sc.
Date: 2011.
Call No.: pac In Process
BRN: 1188123
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: Climate change related sea level rise together with adjustments to wind and wave patterns may cause an increase in the incidence of salt water intrusion into fresh ground water lenses, particularly in atoll islands. This saline intrusion may end up in Giant swamp taro (Cyrtosperma merkusii) cultivation pits, a crop which is a major food on these atoll islands and also a great part of their cultural identity. Hence, an increase in the salinity levels of the fresh ground water not only threatens the food security of these atoll island communities, but also their identity. In past literature, Giant swamp taro has been referred to as slightly salt tolerant. It has been seen to survive at a salinity level of around 2-3ppt (Dunn, 1976; Manner, 2006: Webb, 2007). However, these salinity levels are only claims and have not been tested in controlled trials. Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the salt tolerance potential of Giant swamp taro and utilize it as a buffer against increases in ground water salinity. Furthermore, the documentation along with sustainable conservation of giant swamp taro is also essential to prevent the loss of traditional knowledge and diversity of this important crop. Given that climate change is expected to increase the incidence of salt intrusion into giant swamp taro pits, the fundamental endeavours of this project were threefold (a) to investigate the incidence of salt water intrusion in Tuvalu (b) to develop the knowledge base of giant swamp taro through a descriptor list (c) to develop a rapid in vitro screening methodology for salt tolerance screening which could be used to assess the salinity tolerance of two groups of swamp taro cultivars, Ikaraoi and Katutu from Kiribati. A preliminary in vivo method for screening for salt tolerance was also developed. The ground water salinity survey in Tuvalu was carried out over a period of five weeks and six islands were visited. Measurements were taken using a salinity meter. The survey showed ground water salinity levels between 2006 and 2010 increased on Funafuti but not on the other islands.
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