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Journal of Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 789879, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/789879
Research Article

The Effect of NaCl and CMA on the Growth and Morphology of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Kinnikinnick)

Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way, Prince George, BC, Canada V2N 4Z9

Received 26 July 2011; Revised 27 September 2011; Accepted 27 September 2011

Academic Editor: Sergi Munné-Bosch

Copyright © 2012 Jane P. Young et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Numerous studies have described the negative effects of the commonly used deicer, NaCl, on plants; this has led to research on less toxic alternatives, for example, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA). The present research investigated the native ground cover species, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick), as a possible candidate for landscaping in high salt conditions. The effect of NaCl and CMA on the growth, morphology, and survival of A. uva-ursi plants was examined to explore the use of CMA as a potential environmentally friendly alternative deicing agent to that of NaCl. The influence of these deicing agents on selected soil properties was also investigated. It was found that this ground cover species was able to tolerate moderate-to-high levels of NaCl and even greater concentrations of CMA. Therefore, A. uva-ursi proved to be a candidate for landscaping use in a north central city of Canada, where deicing agents are used in winter months.