Impacts of bracteole removal and seeding rate on seedling emergence of halophyte shrubs: implications for rangeland rehabilitation in arid environments
Impact factor: 1.019 (Year: 2019)
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Mounir Louhaichi, Sawsan Hassan, Ali Mekki Missaoui, Serkan Ates, Steven Petersen, Abdoul Aziz Niane, Slim Slim, Azaiez Ouled Belgacem. (12/2/2019). Impacts of bracteole removal and seeding rate on seedling emergence of halophyte shrubs: implications for rangeland rehabilitation in arid environments. Rangeland Journal, 41 (1), pp. 33-41.
Direct seeding techniques often result in unsatisfactory outcomes in rangeland rehabilitation, primarily because of low seedling emergence and poor establishment. Seed processing techniques aimed at improving seedling emergence have gained interest by pasture managers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the combined effects of bracteole removal and seeding rate on seedling emergence in seven halophytic species: Atriplex halimus, A. canescens, A. leucoclada, A. nummularia, A. lentiformis, Salsola vermiculata and Haloxylon aphyllum under semi-arid conditions in Tel Hadya (Syria). Each of these species was evaluated for seedling emergence under two seed treatments (bracteoles removed and non-removed bracteoles) with three seeding rates (10, 30 and 60 seeds per pot), in a completely randomised block design. The results showed a positive effect of seed treatment on seedling emergence for all studied species. The native A. halimus had the highest emergence percentages whereas the introduced A. mummularia, had the lowest. However, there were no significant effects of seeding rates on seedling emergence. These results showed that bracteole removal could improve germination and seedling emergence, and potentially increase the rate of establishment of the species studied. Therefore, when implementing rangeland rehabilitation projects, bracteole removal needs to be considered. The native S. vermiculata should be recommended for direct seeding in the West Asia and North Africa region given its high seedling emergence, known high palatability, nutritive value, and high auto-regeneration performance
- Agricultural Research Knowledge 
Niane, Abdoul Azizhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-0873-4394
Ouled Belgacem, Azaiezhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-5946-7540