Salinity effects on seed germination and vegetative growth of greens-type poa annua relative to other cool-season turfgrass species

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Seed germination and vegetative growth studies were conducted to determine relative salinity tolerance of greens-type Poa annua L. compared with other cool-season turfgrass species. Effects of increasing salinity stress on final germination percentage (FGP), germination rate (GR), clipping yield dry weight (CYD), verdure dry weight (VD), root dry weight (RD), and the longest root length (LRL) were evaluated for nine experimental lines of greens-type P. annua, two cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass (P. pratensis L.), three cultivars of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.), and one cultivar of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Generally, FGP, GR, CYD, VD, and RD declined with increasing salinity; LRL increased at lower salinity levels but decreased at higher levels. Perennial ryegrass ‘Charger II’ and creeping bentgrass ‘Mariner’ exhibited the most salinity tolerance while Kentucky bluegrass cultivars exhibited the least. Salinity tolerance of greens-type P. annua was intermediate; however, some experimental lines exhibited nearly equal salinity tolerance to that of Mariner. Our data suggest greens-type P. annua possesses moderate to good salinity tolerance during seed germination and vegetative growth relative to other cool-season turfgrass species and has potential to be used on golf courses with moderate salt problems affecting turf establishment and maintenance.

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