Salt tolerance of 74 turfgrass cultivars in nutrient solution culture

Joshua Friell, Eric Watkins, Brian Horgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Turfgrass may experience significant salt stress due to poor water quality, insufficient leaching, or exposure to environmental contaminants. Establishment of salt-tolerant turfgrass cultivars is one possible method of mitigating the effects of salts in irrigation water or the soil environment. The objective of this research was to evaluate the relative salt tolerance of cool-season turfgrasses in a controlled environment using digital image analysis. Six replications of 74 cool-season turfgrasses were established using recommended seeding rates in 10.16-cm by 10.16-cm pots of silica sand for 12 wk, and suspended in two 760-L tubs of half-strength Hoagland solution. Following an adaptation period, all pots were exposed to salinity levels of 4, 14, and 24 dS m-1 successively, each for 2 wk. Digital images were collected after each exposure level using a custom light box, and analyzed for percent green tissue. Cultivars of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) were found to be most salt tolerant, with 'Wolfpack II' and 'Jaguar 4G' performing best after the 14 and 24 dS m-1 exposure levels, respectively. Many fine fescue entries performed well, including slender creeping red fescues (Festuca rubra L. ssp. litoralis) 'Sealink', 'Seabreeze GT', and 'Shoreline'. Trial entries found to have consistent salt tolerance at all levels may be used to guide recommendations for turfgrass managers and breeders and have potential for use in salt-tolerant mixtures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1743-1749
Number of pages7
JournalCrop Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


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