Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Relative Salinity Tolerance of Turf Type Saltgrass Selections.

Yaling Qian1, J. Fu2, Sarah Wilhlem1, Dana Christensen1, A.J. Koski1, Mohammed Pessarakli3, and D.M. Kopec3. (1) Colorado State University, Dept. Hort. & Landscape Arch., Dept. Hort. & Landscape Arch., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173, United States of America, (2) University of Maryland, 395 Greenmeade Drive, College Park, MD 20742, (3) "Univ. of Arizona, Dept of Plant Sci", "Forbes Bldg, Room 303", "Forbes Bldg, Room 303", Tucson, AZ 85721, United States of America

Salt tolerant turfgrass are highly desirable in areas associated with saline soils and/or saline irrigation waters. To determine the salt tolerance of 14 saltgrass (Distichlis spicata var. stricta (Torr.) selections, two greenhouse studies were conducted by means of a hydroponic culture system. Five different salinity levels (2 to 48 dS m-1) were created with ocean salts.  In general, turf quality decreased and leaf firing increased with increasing salinity.  However, varying levels of salt tolerance were observed among entries based on leaf firing, turf quality, root growth, and clipping yield.  Selections COAZ-01, COAZ-18, CO-01, and COAZ-19 exhibited the best turf quality and the least leaf firing at 36 and 48 dS/m salinity levels in both Experiments I and II.   At the highest salinity level (48 dS m-1), COAZ-18 and COAZ-19 exhibited the highest root activity among all accessions.  Salinity level that caused 25% clipping reduction ranged from 21.2 dS m-1 to 29.9 dS m-1, and was not significantly different among entries.  The data on 25% clipping reduction EC of saltgrass generated in this study would rank saltgrass as one of the most salt-tolerant species that can be used as turf.