Relative salinity tolerance of 21 turf-type desert saltgrasses compared to bermudagrass

Kenneth B. Marcum, Mohammad Pessarakli, David M. Kopec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Relative salinity tolerance of 21 desert saltgrass accessions (Distichlis spicata [L.] Greene var. stricta (Torr.) Beetle), and one hybrid bermudagrass 'Midiron' (Cynodon dactylon [L.] Pers. var. dactylon x C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy 'Midiron') were determined via solution culture in a controlled-environment greenhouse. Salinity in treatment tanks was gradually raised, and grasses progressively exposed to 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 M total salinity in sequence. Grasses were held at each salinity level for 1 week, followed by determination of relative salinity injury. Relative (to control) live green shoot weight (SW), relative root weight (RW), and % canopy green leaf area (GLA) were highly correlated with one-another (all r values >0.7), being mutually effective indicators of relative salinity tolerance. The range of salinity tolerance among desert saltgrass accessions was substantial, though all were more tolerant than bermudagrass. Accessions A77, A48, and A55 suffered little visual shoot injury, and continued shoot and root growth at a low level, when exposed up to 1.0 M (71,625 mg·L-1); sea water is about 35,000 mg·L-1), and therefore can be considered halophytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-829
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative turfgrass species
  • Cynodon dactylon x Cynodon transvaalensis
  • Distichlis spicata var. stricta
  • Halophyte
  • Salinity tolerance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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