SPOROBOLUS SPICATUS, A POTENTIAL TURF GRASS UNDER THE CLIMATIC CONDITIONS OF UAE
Different accessions of Sporobolus spicatus were tested for the possible use in the landscaping sector of United Arab Emirates. In this regards, fifty accessions of S. spicatus were screened against five salinity levels of 15, 30, 45, 60 and 75dSm-1 at 3cm mowing height. Significant variations were found among the treatment for various characters of leaf colour, fresh and dry weight. Most of the accessions of the grass tolerated up to 45 dSm-1, without compromising on quality. Further increase in salinity, most of the accessions ceased to grow, except a few accessions which survived even at salinity levels of 75dSm-1. Many of the grasses exhibit better performance than Paspalam vaginatum, the prevailing commercial turf grass in UAE (used as control in this instance). As a whole accessions 45S, 18S, 35S and 37S showed salinity tolerance at 3cm mowing height and maintaining quality up to the acceptable level. Based on their tolerance to salinity and better performance, these accessions are recommended for turf use in public landscaping.
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