M. Pessarakli, D.M. Kopec
Continuous desertification of arable and marginal agricultural lands due to urbanization, global warming, and shortage of water mandates use of low quality/saline water for turf irrigation, especially in regions experiencing water shortage. This practice imposes more salt stress on plants and turfgrasses which are already under stress in these regions. Thus, there is an urgent need for finding salt tolerant plants/turfgrasses to survive under such stressful conditions. This study was conducted in a greenhouse, using hydroponics system, to compare establishment of three major warm-season turfgrasses, bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) ‘Tifway 419’, seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) ‘Sea Isle 2000’, and saltgrass (Distichlis spicata L., Greene) ‘stricta (Gray) Beetle’, accession A55 in terms of shoot and root lengths, clipping dry weight (CDW), root dry weight (RDW), and canopy color rating (CCR) under salt stress conditions. Whole plants, stolons, and rhizomes were grown in ½ strength Hoagland solution No. 1 for 4 months prior to initiation of salt stress. Then, plants were grown for 12 weeks under 4 treatments (control, 7000, 14000, and 21000 mg/L NaCl) with 4 replications in a randomized complete block design experiment. During the stress period, shoots were clipped bi-weekly for CDW, shoot and root lengths were measured, and CCR was performed weekly. The bi-weekly clippings and the roots at the last harvest were oven dried at 60°C and CDW as well as RDW recorded. Shoot and root lengths and CDW decreased linearly with increased salinity for bermudagrass and seashore paspalum. However, for saltgrass these values increased at all NaCl levels compared with the control. For bermudagrass and seashore paspalum, the highest values were obtained when the whole plants were used, and the lowest ones resulted when the rhizomes were used. The reverse was found for saltgrass. For the control plants, the measured parameters were higher and the canopy colors were greener for bermudagrass and seashore paspalum compared with saltgrass. The canopy color changed to lighter green for bermudagrass and seashore paspalum as NaCl salinity increased, but saltgrass maintained the same color regardless of the salinity level.
Pessarakli, M. and Kopec, D.M. (2008). ESTABLISHMENT OF THREE WARM-SEASON GRASSES UNDER SALINITY STRESS. Acta Hortic. 783, 29-39
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2008.783.2
bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), turfgrass, salinity tolerance

Acta Horticulturae