Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Seed quality and plant establishment studies of seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Sw.) Public Deposited

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  • Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Sw.) is an important warm-season perennial turfgrass, known for its tolerance to salinity. Turfgrass is used for homes, municipalities, sod farms, resorts, and sports fields. Seashore paspalum has historically been planted in sub-tropical and tropical climates because of its heat tolerance. Seashore paspalum could become an alternative turfgrass and seed crop in Oregon's Willamette Valley (OWV) if summer temperatures increase because of climate change. Typically, seashore paspalum has been propagated vegetatively through rhizomes and stolons, but transporting this vegetative material has been problematic as much of the material either does not survive or does not transplant well. Ideally, it would be commercially beneficial to grow seashore paspalum from seed. However, planting seed has been restricted due to low seed germination rate, slow germination, and variable establishment in the field. Thus, the purpose of this research was 1) to establish the optimum blowing point (OBP) to separate pure seashore paspalum seeds from light inert matter in order to allow for more accurate seed testing and possibly improved seed cleaning, 2) to determine the extent of dormancy in newly harvested seeds and germination requirements for laboratory germination test, and 3) to identify the optimum time for planting seashore paspalum under OWV environmental conditions. The results for the OBP study showed that an air velocity of 2.2 m/s was the OBP for seashore paspalum. The results of germination studies indicated that there is significant dormancy in seashore paspalum and that given this dormancy, an alternating temperature regime of 20/30⁰C (16 h dark/8 h light) provided best germination test results. The results for the establishment study showed that there were no significant differences in establishment among cultivars of seashore paspalum. Furthermore, seashore paspalum established at a range of 480 to 549 GDD (GDD = [(Max. Temp ⁰ C + Min. Temp ⁰C)/2] - 5⁰ C) based on air temperature and achieved ≥ 90% green within 90 days. July and August proved optimum for establishment due to lower Poa annua intrusion.
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