Effects of Morning and Afternoon Shade in Combination with Traffic Stress on Seashore Paspalum

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  • 1 Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Georgia Experiment Station, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223-1797

Turfgrasses are often exposed to different shade environments in conjunction with traffic stresses (wear and/or compaction) in athletic fields within stadiums. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of morning shade (AMS) and afternoon shade (PMS) alone and in combination with wear and wear plus soil compaction on `Sea Isle 1 seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz). The study was conducted using two consecutive field trials under sports field conditions from 9 July to 10 Sept. 2001 at the Univ. of Georgia Experiment Station at Griffin. “T” shaped structures constructed of plywood on the sports field were used to provide §90% morning and afternoon shade, respectively, and were in place for 1 year prior to data accumulation. A wear device and a studded roller device simulated turfgrass wear (WD) and wear plus soil compaction (WSC), respectively, to the shaded plots. Only minor differences in turf color, density, or canopy spectral reflectance were found between AMS and PMS under no-traffic treatments in both trials. Grasses under WD generally recovered faster than those exposed to WSC across all light levels, including full sunlight (FL), AMS, and PMS. AMS combined with WD treatment had an average 9% higher rating of color, 11% higher density, and 28% less tissue injury than that of PMS with WD at 7 days after traffic treatment (DAT). Compared to PMS with WSC treatment at 7 DAT, AMS with WSC had 12% higher rating of color, 9% higher density, and 4% less tissue injury. AMS with WD treatment exhibited 11% higher normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), 4% higher canopy water band index (CWBI), and 13% lower stress index than that of PMS with WD at 7 DAT. AMS with WSC, relative to PMS with WSC, demonstrated 8% higher NDVI, 3% higher CWBI, and 8% lower stress index at 7 DAT. Re sults indicated that AMS (i.e., afternoon sunlight) had less detrimental influences than PMS (i.e., morning sunlight) on turfgrass performance after it was subjected to wear stress or wear plus soil compaction.

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