(81) Fine Fescues and Shade Tolerance

in HortScience
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  • 1 Michigan State University, Horticulture, East Lansing, MI, 48824

Shaded environments present major obstacles for establishing high quality, persistent, and resistant turfs. Exogenous fructose applications are being examined as a potential method to counteract the effects of shade on turf. This work examines the effectiveness of fructose applications under different light levels on two fine leaf fescue cultivars: chewings fescue (Festucarubra var. commutata) `SR5100' and creeping red fescue (Festucarubra var. rubra) `Dawson'. The experiment was conducted at Michigan State University, East Lansing, inside a simulated dome environment. The experiment was a randomized complete-block design that began 21 Oct. 2004 with two main factors: light and fructose. There were three light treatments: ambient light (shaded); supplemental high light; and supplemental low light. Fructose (0% or 1.25% weight/volume), dissolved in water with an organosilicone adjuvant, was applied once per week. Quality and color ratings, clippings, core samples, density, and leaf reflectance were recorded. In addition, light response curves (LRC) were taken inside an Econoair®

growth chamber using a LI-COR-6400® on the fine fescues, kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) `Cynthia', and bermudagrass (Cyondon dactylon) `Princess'. Preliminary results show that fructose had no significant effect in each light treatment for turf quality and color. However, fructose had a significant impact on clipping weights and density. The LRC specified the required and potential carbon needs as well as indicated the threshold levels, respectively, by species. The impact of fructose alone and in combination with supplemental light on photosynthesis efficiency will be presented.

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