Thursday, November 8, 2007 - 11:00 AM

Effect of Salt Concentration on Germination and Establishment of Seashore Paspalum.

Paul Raymer, R. N. Carrow, and Z. Chen. 1109 Experiment St., University of Georgia, University of Georgia Griffin Campus, Griffin, GA 30223-1797

New cultivars of seashore paspalum (SSP) are being developed for use on salt-affected sites or for use under irrigation with brackish water or salt-laden effluent.  Although these cultivars have demonstrated good salt tolerance once established, establishment under salt water conditions can be difficult.  Laboratory experiments were undertaken to determine threshold salt levels for successful germination.  One released cultivar and six experimental lines of SSP were compared with bermudagrass and centipedegrass for germination percentage and rate at seven salinity levels ranging from 0 to 29,222 ppm NaCl.  A comparison of germination response of the three warm-season species indicated that SSP was most tolerant and bermudagrass least tolerant to increasing salt concentrations.  Genotypic differences were evident among SSP lines for total germination and germination rate at critical salt levels.  These findings indicate that it may be possible to identify and/or develop SSP cultivars with improved ability to germinate and establish under saline conditions.