Rio Grande Basin Initiative

2007-08 Deliverables

Task 5 Research
Principal Investigator(s): Genhua Niu

Task 5: Urban Landscape and In-Home Water Conservation

  1. Evaluate the relative salt tolerance of ornamental shrubs (garden rose rootstocks). As potable water supply is decreasing, many municipalities encourage use of reclaimed water, which has high salt levels, to irrigate landscape plants. In order to minimize salt injury/damage, salt tolerance for commonly used landscape plants needs to be characterized. The response of selected plants to various salt levels of irrigation water and salt accumulation in the substrate and plant tissue will be examined and evaluated. Relative tolerance of the tested plants will be characterized and potential salt tolerant species will be recommended.
  2. Determine minimum water requirement of landscape plants. In order to improve irrigation efficiency, the actual water requirement to maintain healthy appearance needs to be determined for landscape plants. The actual water use along with its associated crop coefficient will be determined and compared for container-grown plants. Collaborator for this project is with Dr. R. Cabrera at the Dallas Research Center.
  3. Evaluate drought tolerance of selected annual and perennial herbaceous plants. Plant lists categorizing drought tolerance should be based on research data, instead of empirical observations. Relative drought tolerance of selected plants will be evaluated by growing the plants under various irrigation levels. Plant performance and physiological response to drought stress will be evaluated so that relative drought tolerance will be determined.
  4. Results will be published through TWRI technical reports and peer reviewed journals, and discussed with local and regional stakeholders for outreach. Oral or poster presentations will be delivered at professional and regional meetings. Appropriate fact sheets or guidelines will be prepared for Extension personnel on drought tolerance of tested plant species and their irrigation recommendations.
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