Background: Smarthouses capable of non-destructive, high-throughput plant phenotyping collect large amounts of data that can be used to understand plant growth and productivity in extreme environments. The challenge is to apply the statistical tool that best analyzes the data to study plant traits, such as salinity tolerance, or plant-growth-related traits. Results: We derive family-wise salinity sensitivity (FSS) growth curves and use registration techniques to summarize growth patterns of HEB-25 barley families and the commercial variety, Navigator. We account for the spatial variation in smarthouse microclimates and in temporal variation across phenotyping runs using a functional ANOVA model to derive corrected FSS curves. From FSS, we derive corrected values for family-wise salinity tolerance, which are strongly negatively correlated with Na but not significantly with K, indicating that Na content is an important factor affecting salinity tolerance in these families, at least for plants of this age and grown in these conditions. Conclusions: Our family-wise methodology is suitable for analyzing the growth curves of a large number of plants from multiple families. The corrected curves accurately account for the spatial and temporal variations among plants that are inherent to high-throughput experiments.