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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 70 No. 6, p. 1086-1088
    Received: Apr 21, 1978

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Effects of Natrustoll Soil Horizons on Germination, Emergence, and Growth of Four Grasses1

  1. William J. McGinnies and
  2. Jim R. Ludwig2



Rehabilitation of low-value saltgrass [Distichlis stricta (Torr.) Rydb.] meadows involves elimination of the existing vegetation and establishment of palatable forage grassy. The seeded forage grasses have frequently failed to become established in field plantings on Natrustoll (Solonetz) soils, particularly where the B and C horizons have been brought to the surface by plowing. To determine how soil material from the Natrustoll soil horizons affects grass establishment, soil from A, B, and C horizons was placed in pots in a greenhouse, and emergence, establishment, and growth of four promising range grasses were measured. We found that Agropyron elongatum, A. desertorum, Elymus junceus and Bromus inermis could readily be established on soil from the A and B horizons of the Natrustoll soil found in the saltgrass meadows. On the C horizon, all species would germinate and emerge (although germination and emergence were slower), but only A. elongatum could become established. Herbage yields on the C horizon were less than 5% of yields on A or B horizons. We attributed the poor establishment and yield on the C horizon to its saline-alkali nature (a pH of 8.8, a conductivity of 12.6 mmho/cm, and a sodium adsorption ratio of 78.6).

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