Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Plant and Environmental Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Sarah A. White

Committee Member

Jeffrey W. Adelberg

Committee Member

William C. Bridges

Committee Member

Dara M. Park


The introduction of poor water quality into commercial nursery crop production is predicated on optimized methods that apply saline irrigation without compromising plant success and health. Halophytes have many mechanisms of salt tolerance; however, these are greatly tied to physiological and developmental maturity. Thus, evaluating salt tolerance of halophytic crops (Hibiscus moscheutos and Kosteletzkya virginica) during seed germination and juvenile phases of life may provide insight into the efficacy of integrating poor quality water in horticultural operations.

Four seed priming methods (hydropriming, proline priming, low concentration halopriming, and high concentration halopriming) were evaluated as pre-sowing techniques to ameliorate the inhibitory effects of salinity on germination. Salinity exposure solutions were comprised of various concentrations of simulated seawater. Increased levels of salinity inhibited germination percentage, mean germination time, and germination uniformity. Priming methods had no effect on germination outcomes.

Containerized salt tolerance of seedlings was evaluated using an acclimatization irrigation schedule. Treatments were characterized by length of exposure to various concentrations of simulated seawater such that certain treatments exposed plants to increasing levels of salinity over time. Acclimatizing procedures for salinity exposure to high concentrations of saline (i.e., treatments) did not impact stem height, plant visual score, or number of leaves. Chlorotic spots, potentially resulting from nutrient deficiency, were present in all treatments, regardless of species and concentration of applied salinity exposures.

Included in

Horticulture Commons



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