Alternative water sources provide an opportunity to reduce the demand for potable water. Greywater could provide homeowners and municipalities with an alternative irrigation source. One common chemical characteristic of greywater is high salt content, usually in the form of NaCl. Reviews of several greywater studies indicate that Na concentrations of greywater range from 7.4 to 480 mg·L−1, whereas Cl concentrations range from 9 to 88 mg·L−1 (Christova-Boal et al., 1996; Eriksson et al., 2002). Salinity tolerance research conducted on landscape plant species has commonly been conducted using simulated reclaimed wastewater (treated municipal effluent) (Marcotte et al., 2004; Miyamoto et al., 2004; Niu et al., 2007, 2012; Wu et al., 2000).
Limited information is available on salt tolerance of woody landscape species native to the southeastern United States (Jordan et al., 2001; Wu et al., 2001). Previous evaluation of salt tolerance of woody landscape plant species commonly used in the southeastern United States has used both native and non-native species. For example, ‘Helleri’ holly (Ilex crenata), japanese holly (I. crenata), yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis), mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis var. mexicana), and crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia sp.) have all been screened and found to be tolerant of saline irrigation water (Cabrera, 2009; Niu et al., 2010; Valdez-Aguilar et al., 2011; Yeager et al., 2010). Evaluations of monocots have been mostly limited to palms and turf with few ornamental landscape grasses (Marcotte et al., 2004; Miyamoto et al., 2004; Wu et al., 2000). Evaluation of additional landscape species, native to the southeastern United States, for tolerance of greywater salinity could increase plant selection options for a greywater-irrigated landscape. Therefore, the objective of this research was to evaluate the tolerance of three landscape plant species, native to the southeastern United States, to saline irrigation water.
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