Performance of Sporobolus spicatus ecotypes, UAE native grass, under various salinity levels

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Muhammad Zamin Abdul Mateen Khattak


Various ecotypes of Sporobolus spicatus were screened for their suitability as turf grass in public landscape. The experiment was conducted during the year 2014, where 50 ecotypes of Sporobolus spicatus were tested against different salinity levels, i.e. 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75dSm-1. Significant differences were recorded for different agronomic parameters such as green cover, canopy stiffness and salinity of leaf rinseates. Many of the ecotypes supplied with saline water up to 30dSm-1 gave better performance in terms of green cover, canopy stiffness and salinity of leaf rinseates. However, beyond this level, the grasses’ green cover decreased and most of the ecotypes ceased to grow, though some of the ecotypes survived even at salinity levels of 75dSm-1. Most of the ecotypes were found better than Paspalum vaginatum, the prevailing commercial turf grass in UAE (used as control in this instance). Ecotypes ARDS1, AQDS1, SAADS1, RS2 and RADS2 performed well at high salt levels and maintained major quality attributes such as green cover and canopy stiffness up to acceptable level. Based on their performance, these ecotypes can be recommended for turf use in public landscape under saline conditions.

Keywords: Halophytes; Turf; Saline water; Landscaping


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