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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 6, p. 2613-2616
    Received: June 22, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): Yaling.Qian@colostate.edu


Techniques for Enhancing Saltgrass Seed Germination and Establishment

  1. Y. L. Qian *,
  2. J. A. Cosenza,
  3. S. J. Wilhelm and
  4. D. Christensen
  1. Dep. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523-1173


Because of its exceptional salinity tolerance, inland saltgrass [Distichlis spicata var. stricta (L.) Greene] has great potential for use as a turfgrass and revegetation species of saline sites. However, saltgrass seeds have a low germination rate due to seed dormancy. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate different seed treatments to enhance germination and establishment of inland saltgrass. In Experiment I, seven different seed treatments were tested for their ability to enhance germination percentage in the growth chamber and compared with a control of no treatment. These treatments included treatments with hot water, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), potassium nitrate (KNO3), bleach, machine scarification, stratification, and hand nicking. Results indicated that germination percentage was increased only by stratification, hand nicking, and machine scarification treatments as compared with the control. In Experiment II, machine scarification, stratification, hand nicking, and the control were tested in the growth chamber. Hand nicking, scarification, and stratification increased percentage germination from 13.0% to 54.0 to 61.7%. Stratification resulted in the fastest germination, followed by hand nicking and scarification. Experiment III was conducted in the field, and seed treatments included machine scarification, stratification, and the control. Two months after seeding, plots seeded with stratified and scarified saltgrass seeds established adequate plot coverage as a turf, whereas the coverage for the control was inadequate, exhibiting inferior turf quality. In summary, stratification and machine scarification improve germination and establishment of seeded saltgrass.

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Copyright © 2006. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America