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Crop Science Abstract -

Physiological Response of Two Turfgrass Species to Varying Ratios of Soil Matric and Osmotic Potentials


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 38 No. 1, p. 175-181
    Received: July 8, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): dev50@nye.nscee.edu
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  1. D. E. Dean-Knox,
  2. D. A. Devitt ,
  3. L. S. Verchick and
  4. R. L. Morris
  1. Cooperative Extension, Univ. of Nevada, Reno, 2345 Red Rock St., Ste. 100, Las Vegas, NV 89102-3156



Plants grown under saline conditions can experience elevated matric and osmotic stress between irrigation events. Research was conducted to assess the physiological response of tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreber ‘Monarch’) and common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L. ‘Numex Sahara’) to varying combinations of soil matric (ΨM) and osmotic potentials (ΨII). Two line-source gradient experiments were conducted, using municipal water with an electrical conductivity (EC) of 1.1 dS−1 or saline a quifer water blended with municipal water (EC of 6.0 dS m−1). Turf temperature, leaf xylem water potential (ΨL), tissue osmolality (ΨII-TISS), yield, evapotranspiration (ETa), percent cover, turf color, and tissue ion concentrations were monitored during a 68-d drydown period during the summer of the second year of experimentation. The total soil water potential (ΨT) was highly linear with distance from the line source with no significant difference between fresh and saline treatments within each species (bermudagrass, Adjr2 = 0.867**; tall rescue, Adjr2 = 0.810"). Significantly lower soil osmotic potentials were recorded under the saline treatment, while lower soil matric potentials were recorded under the fresh treatment for both species. Turf temperature, yield, ETa, turf color, and canopy cover responded to ΨM and ΨII in an additive fashion. The ΨL, ΨII-TISS and tissue ion concentrations in bermudagrass and ΨII-TISS and tissue ion concentrations in tall rescue responded in a nonadditive fashion, however. Our results suggest that water with a salinity level of 6.0 dS m−1 could be used as a supplemental irrigation source for both tall fescue and bermudagrasisf irrigation practices were designed to minimize water deficit.

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