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.