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Dana Sullivan, Jing Zhang, Alexander R. Kowalewski, Jason B. Peake, William F. Anderson, F. Clint Waltz Jr., and Brian M. Schwartz

Quantitative spectral reflectance data have the potential to improve the evaluation of turfgrasses in variety trials when management practices are factors in the testing of turf aesthetics and functionality. However, the practical application of this methodology has not been well developed. The objectives of this research were 1) to establish a relationship between spectral reflectance and turfgrass quality (TQ) and percent green cover (PGC) using selected reference plots; 2) to compare aesthetic performance (TQ, PGC, and vegetation indices) and functional performance (surface firmness); and 3) to evaluate lignin content as an alternate means to predict surface firmness in turfgrass variety trials of hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis]. A field study was conducted on mature stands of three varieties (‘TifTuf’, ‘TifSport’, and ‘Tifway’) and two experimental lines (04-47 and 04-76) at two mowing heights (0.5 and 1.5 inch) and trinexapac-ethyl application (0.15 kg·ha−1 and nontreated control) treatments. Aesthetic performance was estimated by vegetation indices, spectral reflectance, visual TQ, and PGC. The functional performance of each variety/line was measured through surface firmness and fiber analysis. Regression analyses were similar when using only reference plots or all the plots to determine the relationship between individual aesthetic characteristics. Experimental line 04-47 had lower density in Apr. 2010, whereas varieties ‘TifTuf’, ‘TifSport’, and ‘Tifway’ were in the top statistical group for aesthetic performance when differences were found. ‘TifSport’ and ‘Tifway’ produced the firmest surfaces, followed by ‘TifTuf’, and finally 04-76 and 04-47, which provided the least firm surface. Results of leaf fiber analysis were not correlated with turf surface firmness. This study indicates that incorporating quantitative measures of spectral reflectance could reduce time and improve precision of data collection as long as reference plots with adequate range of green cover are present in the trials.

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Lloyd M. Callahan and Joe W. High Jr.

A bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifgreen'] lawn in the transition zone (about lat. 35°N) was treated in late March for 3 years with a high and a low level each of benefin, bensulide, DCPA, oxadiazon, and siduron. Objectives were to determine if relationships exist between field environment and dates of preemergence herbicide applications for large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis L. Scop.) control, the spring root decline (SRD) phenomenon, and herbicide phytotoxicity to the bermudagrass. Herbicide treatments in late March generally controlled large crabgrass, reduced total weed competition, and appeared to aid bermudagrass spring growth following winter dormancy. Herbicide injury to `Tifgreen' bermudagrass roots during SRD does occur under practical field conditions and was more severe when bermudagrass spring green-up occurred closer to the herbicide treatment date, as in 1982. Bermudagrass stand density was significantly reduced with the high level of siduron in 1980 and 1981, and with both levels of oxadiazon and siduron in 1982. Bensulide and oxadiazon, at both levels, gave 92% to 100% crabgrass control during all three treatment years. The high levels of benefin and DCPA in 1980, both levels of benefin and the high level of DCPA in 1981, and both levels of DCPA and the high level of benefin in 1982 gave crabgrass control in excess of 95%. Chemical names used: N-butyl-N-ethyl-2,6-dinitro-4-(trifluoromethyl)-benzenamine (benefin), O,O-bis(1-methylethyl)-S-[2-[(phenylsulfony l)-amino]ethyl] phosphorodithioate (bensulide), dimethyl 2,3,5,6-tetra-chloro-1,4-benzenedicarboxylate (DCPA), 3-[2,4-dichloro-5-(1-methylethoxy)phenyl]-5-(l,l-dimethylethyl)-l,3,4-oxadiazol-2 -(3H)-one (oxadiazon), N-(2-methylcyclohexyl)-N'-phenylurea (siduron).

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R.L. Green, R.C. Hartwig, W.E. Richie, R.H. Loeppert, and J.B. Beard

Iron-deficiency (Fe-deficiency) stress, characterized by chlorosis of leaf tissue, is a major limiting factor in turfgrass production on calcareous soils. The objectives of this study were to: 1) evaluate ferrihydrite-amended growth media and the threshold amount of Fe initially added for use in a whole-plant screening procedure for selecting cultivars that are tolerant to Fe-deficiency stress conditions; 2) measure and evaluate whole-plant growth characteristics that could be an index of Fe deficiency stress; and 3) assess the potential of using a synthetically produced Fe oxide, ferrihydrite, as a slow-release Fe fertilizer source. Iron-stress sensitive `Raleigh' St. Augustinegrass [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] and Fe-stress tolerant `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Davy] cultivars were grown under glasshouse conditions in a medium consisting of quartz sand, 5% (m/m) CaCO,, and a ferrihydrite amendment providing Fe in concentrations of 0, 15, 30, 46, or 120 mg·kg-1 media, (equivalent to 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10 mg DTPA-extractable Fe/kg media). There also was a nonlimiting iron control. St. Augustinegrass was first rated for iron chlorosis 83 days after planting (DAP) while bermudagrass was first rated at 294 DAP. Initial Fe levels equivalent to 5 mg DTPA-extractable Fe/kg media showed potential for screening genotypes. Visual estimates of iron chlorosis and chlorophyll contents of leaves were the best indicators of low soil Fe availability. A single ferrihydrite soil amendment at 10 mg DTPA-extractable Fe/kg media was adequate in preventing chlorosis for the duration of the study (174 and 509 days for St. Augustinegrass and bermudagrass, respectively). Chemical name used: Diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA).

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Jason J. Goldman, Wayne W. Hanna, and Peggy Ozias-Akins

`TifEagle' (2n = 3x = 27) hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. (2n = 4x = 36) × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy (2n = 2x = 18)] is an ultradwarf cultivar for greens, and `TifSport' (2n = 3x = 27) is a more versatile hybrid used on fairways, athletic fields, and lawns. To develope a transformation system and determine if somaclonal variation was present in regenerated plants, both cultivars were tested for their ability to produce embryogenic callus from which plants could be regenerated. Sliced nodes of both cultivars and immature inflorescences from `TifSport' were used as the explant sources. Cultures were initiated on Murashige and Skoog medium supplemented with 6.79 μm 2,4-D and 0.044 μm BA (`TifSport' and `TifEagle') or 6.79 μm 2,4-D plus 200 mg.L-1 casein hydrolysate (`TifSport'). In total, 51 plants were regenerated from callus of a single node of `TifEagle'. Nodes from `TifSport' did not produce embryogenic callus. In total, 29 plants were regenerated from callus of `TifSport' produced from immature inflorescences. These plants were grown in the field for at least one season, and 5-cm-diameter plugs were harvested, repotted in a greenhouse, and allowed to reestablish. Data on canopy height, leaf width, leaf length, and number of stolons were collected. Seven `TifEagle'-derived entries (14%) were not significantly different (α = 0.05) from `TifEagle' harvested from the breeder plot in Tifton, Ga., for all measured traits, and 41%, 24%, and 22% differed by one, two, or three measurements, respectively. Flow cytometry indicated that 33% (13 plants) of the `TifEagle' regenerants were hexaploid (2n = 6x = 54) and the rest remained triploid. One `TifSport' regenerant was significantly different (α = 0.05) for plant height.

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Alan L. Wright, Tony L. Provin, Frank M. Hons, David A. Zuberer, and Richard H. White

Application of organic amendments can increase dissolved organic C (DOC) concentrations, which may influence movement of nutrients and heavy metals in soils. The objectives of this study were to investigate the influence of compost sources and application rates on concentrations of soil DOC, NO3-N, and extractable P over 29 months after a one-time application of compost to bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] turf. Few differences were evident between compost sources for soil total organic C (TOC), DOC, and NO3-N. However, the initial P content of compost sources significantly influenced soil extractable P. Increasing the rate of compost application increased soil TOC initially, but levels remained fairly stable over time. In contrast, DOC continued to increase from 3 to 29 months after application, suggesting that compost mineralization and growth of bermudagrass contributed to DOC dynamics in soil. Dissolved organic C was 98%, 128%, 145%, 175%, and 179% greater 29 months after application of 0, 40, 80, 120, and 160 Mg compost/ha, respectively, than before application. Rate of compost application had less effect on DOC than TOC, as DOC concentrations appeared controlled in part by bermudagrass growth patterns. Soil NO3-N was generally unaffected by compost application rate, as NO3-N decreased similarly for unamended soil and all compost treatments. Soil extractable P initially increased after compost application, but increasing the application rate generally did not increase P from 3 to 29 months. Seasonal or cyclical patterns of TOC, DOC, and extractable P were observed, as significantly lower levels of these parameters were observed in dormant stages of bermudagrass growth during cooler months.

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Maria P. Fuentealba, Jing Zhang, Kevin E. Kenworthy, John E. Erickson, Jason Kruse, and Laurie E. Trenholm

Irrigation for commercial and residential turf is becoming limiting, and water scarcity is one of the long-term challenges facing the turfgrass industry. Potential root development and profile characteristics of turfgrass provide important information regarding their drought resistance mechanisms and developing drought-resistant cultivars. The objective of this study was to determine the potential root development and root profile characteristics of two bermudagrass species and two zoysiagrass species using experimental lines and commercial cultivars. The species evaluated in the study were: African bermudagrass (Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy), common bermudagrass (CB) [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylon], Zoysia japonica (ZJ) (Steud), and Zoysia matrella (ZM) L. Plants were grown outdoors in clear acrylic tubes encased in poly vinyl chloride (PVC) sleeves. The experimental design was randomized complete block design with four replications. Rates of root depth development (RRDD) during the first 30 days were obtained. Root length density (RLD) in four different horizons (0–30, 30–60, 60–90, and 90–120 cm) was determined 60 days after planting. Specific root length (SRL, m·g−1) was also calculated dividing total root length by total root dry weight (RDW). The root depth in four turfgrass species increased linearly during the first 30 days after planting. Common bermudagrass (CB) had high RRDD and uniform RLD in different horizons, while ZM accumulated the majority of its roots in the upper 30 cm. Z. matrella had higher RLD than CB in the upper 30 cm. African bermudagrass had higher SRL than CB. There was limited variation within the two African bermudagrass genotypes studied except at the lowest horizon (90–120 cm). Two genotypes in CB and ZJ, respectively, including ‘UF182’ (ZJ), which consistently ranked in the top statistical group for RRDD, and RLD for every horizon, and ‘UFCD347’ (CB) demonstrated greater RLDs in the lower horizons in comparison with the commercial cultivars.

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L.R. Nelson, J. Crowder, and H.B. Pemberton

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has traditionally been used to overseed warm-season grasses in the southern U.S. when warm-season sods are dormant due to chilling temperatures. In this study we investigated overseeding turf-type annual ryegrass (two cultivars of L. multiflorum and one cultivar of L. rigidum) and chewing fescue (Festuca rubra var. commutata) as well as perennial ryegrass onto a warm-season common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) sod. The objective was to compare turf quality, turf color, and transition date of turf-type annuals with perennials and other cool-season grasses. Results for turf quality indicated that the annual ryegrass cultivars `Axcella' and `Panterra' (L. multiflorum) compared very well with perennials through March; however, in April and May, perennials were superior for quality. `Hardtop' fine fescue is a hard fescue (F. ovina var. duriuscula). It was inferior to the annuals for turf quality from December to April when the annuals began to die. For turf color, annuals had a lower rating compared to dark green perennials such as `Premier II', `Derby Supreme', or `Allstar'. `Panterra' was darker compared to `Axcella' in March and April. Chewing fescue was intermediate in color compared to annuals and perennials. For turf height, `Axcella' was taller than `Panterra', which were both taller than the perennials, and the fine fescues were shorter than the perennials. For transition in the spring, the annuals had a shorter transition and died about 1 month earlier than the perennials. `Transtar' (L. rigidum) had an earlier transition than the other annuals. The perennials tended to have a longer transition period. The fescues had a very long transition period and were similar to the perennials.

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Ian R. Rodriguez, Grady L. Miller, and L.B. McCarty

For drainage, turfgrass is often established on sand-based soils, which are typically nutrient-deficient and require supplemental fertilization. The objective of this study was to determine the optimum N-P-K fertilizer ratio for establishing bermudagrass from sprigs in sand. `FloraDwarf' and `Tifdwarf' bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davy] were sprigged on a United States Golf Association (USGA) green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] in Aug. 1996 at the Univ. of Florida's Envirogreen in Gainesville, Fla. `TifEagle' bermudagrass was sprigged on a USGA green [85 sand: 15 peat (v/v)] and `Tifway' bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] was sprigged on native soil at Clemson Univ. in Clemson, S.C. in May 1999. Treatments consisted of fertilizer ratios of 1N-0P-0.8K, 1N-0P-1.7K, 1N-0.4P-0.8K, 1N-0.9P-0.8K, and 1N-1.3P-0.8K applied based on a N rate of 49 kg·ha-1/week for 7 weeks. Growth differences were apparent among cultivars. A 1N-0P-0.8K or 1N-0P-1.7K ratio is insufficient for optimum growth of bermudagrass during establishment, even when planted on a soil high in P. Increased coverage rate with additional P was optimized at a ratio of 1N-0.4P at all four sites. Increased coverage with P was greatest on the sand-based greens, probably due to the very low initial P levels of the soils. On two of the sand-based greens, P in excess of a 1N-0.4P ratio decreased coverage rate.

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Anne M. Lockett, Dale A. Devitt, and Robert L. Morris

Population growth and water limitations in the southwestern United States have led to golf courses in many communities to be encouraged or mandated to transition to reuse water for irrigation purposes. A monitoring program was conducted on nine golf courses in the Las Vegas valley, NV, for 4.5 years to assess the impact of reuse water on soil–turfgrass systems {bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.)}. The nine courses selected included three long-term reuse courses, three fresh water courses, and three courses expected to transition to reuse water during the monitoring period. Near-surface soil salinity varied from 1.5 to 40.0 dS·m−1 during the study period with the highest peaks occurring during summer months and on long-term reuse irrigated fairways. Although soil salinity at several depths on fairways and greens increased after transition to reuse water, this did not lead to a systematic decline in leaf xylem water potential (ΨL) or color. When the data were grouped as fresh, transition, or reuse irrigated, soil salinity on reuse courses were statistically higher (P < 0.05) than fresh and transitional courses, yet plant response on reuse courses was not statistically different (P > 0.05) than that observed on fresh courses. The fact that summertime plant parameter values often declined under lower salinity levels and the electrical conductivity of the irrigation water was rejected as a significant variable in all backward regression analysis to describe plant response indicated that management differed significantly from course to course. We conclude that proper irrigation management, based on a multitiered feedback system (soil–plant–atmospheric monitoring), should be able to maintain favorable salt balances and plant response as long as irrigation volumes are not restricted to where deficit irrigation occurs.

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S. Severmutlu, N. Mutlu, R.C. Shearman, E. Gurbuz, O. Gulsen, M. Hocagil, O. Karaguzel, T. Heng-Moss, T.P. Riordan, and R.E. Gaussoin

Warm-season turfgrasses are grown throughout the warm humid, sub-humid, and semiarid regions. The objective of this study was to determine the adaptation of six warm-season turfgrass species and several of their cultivars to Mediterranean growing conditions of Turkey by evaluating turfgrass establishment rate, quality, color, and percentage of turfgrass cover. Information of this nature is lacking and would be helpful to turfgrass managers and advisers working in the region. A study was conducted over a 2-year period in two locations of the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The warm-season turfgrass species studied were bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiurioides). Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) was included as a cool-season turfgrass species for comparison. Twenty cultivars belonging to these species were evaluated for their establishment, turfgrass color and quality, spring green-up, and fall color retention. Bermudagrass, bahiagrass, and seashore paspalum established 95% or better coverage at 1095 growing degree days [GDD (5 °C base temperature)], buffalograss and centipedegrass at 1436 GDD, and ‘Zenith’ and ‘Companion’ Zoysiagrass had 90% and 84% coverage at Antalya after accumulating 2031 GDD. ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum; ‘SWI-1044’, ‘SWI-1045’, ‘Princess 77’, and ‘Riviera’ bermudagrass; ‘Cody’ buffalograss; and ‘Zenith’ zoysiagrass exhibited acceptable turfgrass quality for 7 months throughout the growing season. ‘Argentine’ and ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass; ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum; and ‘SWI-1044’ and ‘SWI-1045’ bermudagrass extended their growing season by retaining their green color 15 days or longer than the rest of the warm-season cultivars and/or species in the fall. The warm-season species stayed fully dormant throughout January and February. Zoysiagrass and buffalograss cultivars showed early spring green-up compared to the other warm-season species studied. Results from this study support the use of warm-season turfgrass species in this Mediterranean region, especially when heat stress and water limitations exist. Tall fescue did not survive summer heat stress necessitating reseeding in fall.