In mid-September we were informed that part of the Naaman salt marsh* was to undergo intensive agricultural development. Israel's Nature and Parks Authority asked the staff of the Botanical Garden to collect rare plant species from the area that is expected to be affected.Tal Levanony, the Garden's curator, and Samuel Ratta from the gardening team, collected numerous plants of five species, which were laboriously pulled out from the dry, clayish soil typical of this habitat. The plants were brought back along with local soil collected on site, which was used as a potting medium and a source for any additional seeds that may sprout later on. The collection of Israeli plants in the Garden includes a salt marsh plot, which so far has represented mostly desert salt marshes. Now this area also features plants from the Naaman salt marsh, which is a wet, coastal-plain saltmarsh (the salinity is caused by flooding and evaporation), characterized by clayish, heavy, muddy soil. In preparation for planting, part of the area was dug to a depth of 30-50 cm, a PVC sheet was used to line the bottom, and soil collected from the Naaman salt marsh was spread on top of it. We have thus created an area that resembles the original habitat, minimizes infiltration and enables us to display the plants while also conserving and cultivating their original genetic material. The rare species of the Naaman salt marsh, such as Salsola soda and Suaeda splendens, join approximately 270 plants known as "red species" – threatened plants on the verge of extinction – and constitute part of Tel Aviv University's refuge plant collection.

A salt marsh is an area in which the soil contains high concentrations of soluble salts. Such areas support unique ecological systems composed of plants and animals that are adapted to living under harsh saline conditions.

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