The Effects of Increasing Concentrations of Total Dissolved Salts on Halophyte Establishment, Growth and Nutritional Quality



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Rangelands scattered throughout west Texas have been damaged by produced water or brine water (a by-product of oil and gas exploration that contain higher than normal concentrations of dissolved salts) spills. Planting salt tolerant halophytes onto damaged rangelands is a method utilized to remediated and reclaim these rangelands. Little is known regarding the effects that increasing concentrations of salts have on halophyte establishment. This study evaluated how different levels of saline concentration affected the establishment of two halophyte grass species Giant Sacaton (Sporobolus wrightii Munro ex Scribn.) and Alkali Sacaton (Sporobolus airoides (Torr.) Torr.). Plants were watered with 0, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 ppm NaCl solutions. Alkali sacaton and Giant sacaton both survive increasing saline concentrations in water. Most of the sodium and chloride ions appeared to be compartmentalized in above ground growth. Giant Sacaton produced more above ground biomass while Alkali sacaton had larger root mass.



Total Dissolved Salts, Halophyte, Alkali Sacaton, Giant Sacaton, Establishment, Growth, Nutritional Quality