Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Second Floor
High salinity inhibits turfgrass growth and reduces turf quality. A common management practice to minimize salinity injury is to increase salt levels gradually (acclimation), to avoid sudden shock (immediate exposure to high concentration). Only limited information is available to support this practice. The objectives of this experiment were to compare turfgrass and soil responses to various salt concentrations, salt acclimation and shock. Tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) were irrigated with a sodium chloride solution at 0 (control), 6 (low), and 12 dS m-1 (high) at 100% ET for 60 d. Turfgrasses were acclimated by increasing the saline aliquots gradually at 1.5 (in the low and high concentrations) or 3 dS m-1 (in the high concentration) every 3 d until reaching the final concentrations or exposed to the final concentrations immediately (shock) when irrigated with salt solutions. Tall fescue had the highest visual quality and tissue dry weight, followed by perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass and creeping bentgrass. No differences were observed in tissue relative water content. Creeping bentgrass had the lowest soil electrical conductivity (EC). However, soil pH was not different between species. Visual quality, growth rate, and soil pH decreased as water EC increased. Acclimation did not improve turfgrass salt tolerance during the duration of this test.