Response of South African indigenous grass species to drought stress induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000

van den Berg, L
Zeng, Y J
South African Journal of Botany
Publication Year: 
Degradation in arid and semi-arid regions can be ascribed primarily to environmental conditions such as extreme changes in temperature and erratic rainfall patterns. Seed germination and seedling growth of three grass species (Anthephora pubescens, Heteropogon contortus and Themeda triandra) indigenous to arid and semi-arid regions of southern Africa were assessed under controlled conditions that simulated drought stress using polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000. Exposure to water potentials below - 0.3 MPa significantly decreased germination rates and shoot lengths for all three species, despite slight differences in their sensitivities to osmotic stress. More dramatic differences between the species were evident when the effects of water stress on root growth were evaluated. These findings form the basis for future trials involving the use of indigenous grasses in the restoration of rangelands.
Name of Journal: 
South African Journal of Botany
Resource Type: 
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Grassland Society of Southern Africa

The Grassland Society of Southern Africa (GSSA) is involved and concerned with the science and practice of range and pasture management. This broad field involves primarily the use and conservation of natural resources. It encompasses applied fields such as livestock production, wildlife management, nature conservation, water catchment management and range and mine-dump rehabilitation. The disciplines include, amongst others, ecology, botany zoology, range and pasture science, animal science, soil science and genetics. This collection includes journal articles from the African Journal of Range and Forage Science as well as related articles and reports from throughout the Southern African region.