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2 April 2019 Germination and Growth of Grass Species in Soil Contaminated by Drill Cuttings
Huisen Zhu, Yang Gao, Deying Li
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Grass species are important for phytoremediation on native prairies affected by petroleum oil production. One of the major limitations in remediation and reclamation using plant species is seed germination failure. The objective of this study was to evaluate grass seed germination and seedling growth affected by drill cuttings. Sixty-five grass species (including 5 cereal crops) were included in the study. Germination of all species was reduced by drill cuttings. The reduction in germination ranged from 9.2% to 100%. Two species were tolerant, 18 species were moderately tolerant, 27 species were moderately sensitive, and 18 species were sensitive. Based on tolerance levels in the preliminary screening, 9 species were selected for further evaluation in response to different levels of drill cuttings in soil. Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.) was the most tolerant based on EC50 of seed germination as well as biomass production. For phytoremediation and soil reclamation of soils with drill-cutting contamination, species with tolerance to hydrocarbons, salinity, and other toxics are desired. Very few grass species are tolerant to all those components. Our study showed that buffalograss can potentially be used for reclamation of soils contaminated with drill cuttings.

© 2019
Huisen Zhu, Yang Gao, and Deying Li "Germination and Growth of Grass Species in Soil Contaminated by Drill Cuttings," Western North American Naturalist 79(1), 49-55, (2 April 2019).
Received: 29 January 2018; Accepted: 7 September 2018; Published: 2 April 2019

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