Alleviation of salt-induced stress on seed emergence using soil additives in a greenhouse

Stephanie L. Neid, David D. Biesboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Use of sodium chloride (NaCl) as a deicing salt results in high concentrations of ions in roadside soils, which decreases seedling emergence in these areas. Greenhouse experiments performed in soil culture tested the efficacy of three soil fertilizers, gypsum (CaSO4), potash (potassium chloride, KCl) and potassium nitrate (KNO3), in alleviating NaCl stress on seedling emergence of three grass species exhibiting a range of salt tolerance, Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), and Puccinellia distans (alkali grass). Two-factor factorial designs were utilized for each species-fertilizer combination. Treatments of 5000 mg/L (0.086 M) NaCl with or without fertilizer, in concentrations that were equal to 0.5, 1, and 2 times the molar equivalent of 5000 mg/L NaCl were applied biweekly. Salt stress on Poa pratensis emergence was alleviated by all fertilizers with CaSO4 having the greatest effect in alleviating NaCl stress and potash and potassium nitrate alleviating stress at lower treatment levels. Emergence of Bouteloua gracilis and Puccinellia distans was in most cases negatively effected by soil amendments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Thanks to University of Minnesota Plant Biological Sciences greenhouse staff for assistance and support. Many thanks to two anony- mous reviewers for astute comments and attention to detail.


  • Bouteloua gracilis
  • Emergence
  • Poa pratensis
  • Puccinellia distans
  • Salt tolerance


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