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Yiwei Jiang and Robert N. Carrow

Canopy reflectance has the potential to determine turfgrass shoot status under drought stress conditions. The objective of this study was to describe the relationship of turf quality and leaf firing versus narrow-band canopy spectral reflectance within 400 to 1100 nm for different turfgrass species and cultivars under drought stress. Sods of four bermudagrasses (Cynodon dactylon L. × C. transvaalensis), three seashore paspalums (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), and st. augustinegrass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and three seeded tall fescues (Festuca arundinacea) were used. Turf quality decreased 12% to 27% and leaf firing increased 12% to 55% in 12 grasses in response to drought stress imposed over three dry-down cycles. The peak correlations occurred at 673 to 693 nm and 667 to 687 nm for turf quality and leaf firing in bermudagrasses, respectively. All three tall fescues had the strongest correlation at 671 nm for both turf quality and leaf firing. The highest correlations in the near-infrared at 750, 775, or 870 nm were found in three seashore paspalums, while at 687 to 693 nm in Zoysiagrass and st. augustinegrass. Although all grasses exhibited some correlations between canopy reflectance and turf quality or leaf firing, significant correlation coefficients (r) were only observed in five grasses. Multiple linear regression models based on selected wavelengths for turf quality and leaf firing were observed for 7 (turf quality) and 9 (leaf firing) grasses. Wavelengths in the photosynthetic region at 658 to 700 nm or/and near-infrared from 700 to 800 nm predominated in models of most grasses. Turf quality and leaf firing could be well predicted in tall fescue by using models, evidenced by a coefficient of determination (R 2) above 0.50. The results indicated that correlations of canopy reflectance versus turf quality and leaf firing varied with turfgrass species and cultivars, and the photosynthetic regions specifically from 664 to 687 nm were relatively important in determining turf quality and leaf firing in selected bermudagrass, tall fescue, zoysiagrass and st. augustinegrass under drought stress.

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Billy J. Johnson, Robert N. Carrow and Tim R. Murphy

Field experiments were conducted to determine the effects of foliar iron (Fe) applied with postemergence herbicides on injury, color, and quality of `Tifway' bermudagrass [Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy × Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Iron significantly decreased injury and improved quality and color of `Tifway' bermudagrass in conjunction with herbicide treatment. Turf injury was less for 4 to 18 days after the initial MSMA application when Fe was added. Injury was also less from sequential Fe treatment with MSMA + metribuzin (up to 4 days) and MSMA + imazaquin (from 4 to 10 days) compared to the respective herbicides applied alone. There was no difference in turf injury from Fe when imazaquin at 1.3 kg·ha-1 was applied as a single treatment. However, turf treated with Fe and two applications of imazaquin (9- to 10-day interval) recovered from herbicide injury faster than when treated only with the herbicide. Iron did not prevent immediate 2,4-D + mecoprop + dicamba injury to the bermudagrass, but did hasten turf recovery from injury at 26 days after treatment. With a few exceptions, `Tifway' bermudagrass quality was higher and color improved when Fe was added. However, injury expressed as loss of shoot density was not affected by Fe and only injury expressed as color loss was improved by Fe. Chemical names used: 3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid (dicamba), 2-[4,5-dihydro-4-methyl)-4-(1-methylethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid (imazaquin), (±)-2-(4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)propanoic acid (mecoprop), 4-amino-6-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-3-(methylthio)-1,2,4-triazin-5(4H)-one (metribuzin), monosodium salt of MAA (MSMA), and (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4-D).

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Geungjoo Lee, Ronny R. Duncan and Robert N. Carrow

Evaluation of turfgrass salt tolerance is a basic strategy for selecting grasses that can be grown in areas with salt-affected water or soils. Our objectives were to determine the relative salinity tolerances of 32 grasses and to evaluate potential shoot-based criteria for assessing salinity tolerance. Shoot growth responses to salinity of 28 seashore paspalums (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) and four bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) × C. transvalensis Burtt-Davy] cultivars were investigated under solution/sand culture in a greenhouse. Turfgrasses were grown in a sea-salt amended nutrient solution. Salinity ranges were 1.1 to 41.1 dS·m-1 based on electrical conductivity of the solution (ECw). Selection criteria to assess salt tolerance were absolute growth at 1.1 (ECw0), 24.8 (ECw24), 33.1 (ECw32), and 41.1 dS·m-1 (ECw40); threshold ECw; ECw for 25% and 50% growth reduction based on ECw0 growth; and leaf firing (LF) at ECw0 and ECw40 (LF0 and LF40, respectively). Significant variations among 32 entries were observed for all shoot responses except threshold ECw. Ranges of values for shoot parameters were: inherent growth at ECw0 = 0.10 to 0.98 g dry weight (10-fold difference); growth at 24.8 dS·m-1 = 0.11 to 0.64 g; growth at 33.1 dS·m-1 = 0.09 to 0.54 g; growth at 41.4 dS·m-1 = 0.06 to 0.35 g; threshold ECW = 3.9 to 12.3 dS·m-1; ECw25 % = 14 to 38 dS·m-1; ECw50% = 22 to 43 dS·m-1; and LF40 = 7% to 41%. Results in this study indicated substantial genetic-based variation in salt tolerance within seashore paspalums. When evaluation of salt tolerance based on shoot responses is attempted at wide salinity levels up to 40 dS·m-1, all seven criteria exhibiting a significant F test can be used. Five entries (SI 92, SI 93-1, SI 91, SI 93-2, SI 89) were ranked in the top statistical grouping for all seven-growth parameters, followed by SI 90 ranked in six out of seven, and three paspalums (SI 94-1, `Sea Isle 1', and `Taliaferro') were ranked in five out of seven categories.

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Geungjoo Lee, Robert N. Carrow and Ronny R. Duncan

Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) is a warm season turfgrass that survives in sand dunes along coastal sites and around brackish ponds or estuaries. The first exposure to salt stress normally occurs in the rhizosphere for persistent turfgrass. Information on diversity in salinity tolerance of seashore paspalums is limited. From Apr. to Oct. 1997, eight seashore paspalum ecotypes (SI 94-1, SI 92, SI 94-2, `Sea Isle 1', `Excalibur', `Sea Isle 2000', `Salam', `Adalayd') and four bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis Butt-Davy) cultivars (`Tifgreen', `Tifway', `TifSport', `TifEagle') were investigated for levels of salinity tolerance based on root and verdure responses in nutrient/sand culture under greenhouse conditions. Different salt levels (1.1 to 41.1 dS·m-1) were created with sea salt. Measurements were taken for absolute growth at 1.1 (ECw0; electrical conductivity of water), 24.8 (ECw24), 33.1 (ECw 32), and 41.1 dS·m-1 (ECw40), threshold ECw, and ECw for 25% growth reduction from ECw0 growth (ECw25%). Varying levels of salinity tolerance among the 12 entries were observed based on root, verdure, and total plant yield. Ranges of root characteristics were inherent growth (ECw0) = 0.20 to 0.61 g dry weight (DW); growth at ECw24 = 0.11 to 0.47 g; growth at ECw32 = 0.13 to 0.50 g; growth at ECw40 = 0.13 to 0.50 g; threshold ECw = 3.1 to 9.9 dS·m-1; and ECw25% = 23 to 39 dS·m-1. For verdure, ranges were inherent growth at ECw0 = 0.40 to 1.07 g DW; growth at ECw40 = 0.31 to 0.84 g; and ratio of yields at ECw40 to ECw0 = 0.54 to 1.03. Ranges for total growth were inherent growth at ECw0 = 0.72 to 2.66 g DW; growth at ECw24 = 0.55 to 2.23 g; growth at ECw32 = 0.54 to 2.08 g; growth at ECw40 = 0.52 to 1.66 g; threshold ECw = 2.3 to 12.8 dS·m-1; and ECw25% = 16 to 38 dS·m-1. Significant salinity tolerance differences existed among seashore paspalums and bermudagrasses as demonstrated by root, verdure, and total growth measurements. When grasses were ranked across all criteria exhibiting a significant F test based on root, verdure, and total growth, the most tolerant ecotypes were SI 94-1 and SI 92. Salinity tolerance of bermudagrass cultivars was relatively lower than SI 94-1 and SI 92. For assessing salinity tolerance, minimum evaluation criteria must include absolute growth at ECw0 and ECw 40 dS·m-1 for halophytes, but using all significant parameters of root and total yield is recommended for comprehensive evaluation.

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Yiwei Jiang, Robert N. Carrow and Ronny R. Duncan

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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Yiwei Jiang, Robert N. Carrow and Ronny R. Duncan

Traffic stresses often cause a decline in turfgrass quality. Analysis of spectral reflectance is valuable for assessing turfgrass canopy status. The objectives of this study were to determine correlations of narrow band canopy reflectance and selected reflectance indices with canopy temperature and turf quality for seashore paspalum exposed to wear and wear plus soil compaction traffic stresses, and to evaluate the effects of the first derivative of reflectance and degree of data smoothing (spectral manipulations) on such correlations. `Sea Isle 1' seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum Swartz) was established on a simulated sports field during 1999 and used for this study. Compared to original reflectance, the first derivative of reflectance increased the correlation coefficient (r) of certain wavelengths with canopy temperature and turf quality under both traffic stresses. Among 217 wavelengths tested between 400 and 1100 nm, the peak correlations of the first derivative of reflectance occurred at 661 nm and 664 nm for both canopy temperature and turf quality under wear stress, respectively, while the highest correlations were found at 667 nm and 820 to 869 nm for both variables under wear plus soil compaction. Collectively, the first derivative of reflectance at 667 nm was the optimum position to determine correlation with canopy temperature (r > 0.62) and turf quality (r < -0.72) under both traffic stresses. All correlations were not sensitive to degrees of smoothing of reflectance from 400 to 1100 nm. A ratio of R936/R661 (IR/R, Infrared/red) and R693/759 (stress index) had the strongest correlations with canopy temperature for wear (r = -0.63) and wear plus soil compaction (r = 0.66), respectively; and a ratio of R693/R759 had the strongest correlation with turf quality for both wear (r = -0.89) and wear plus soil compaction (r = -0.82). The results suggested that the first derivative of reflectance could be used to estimate any single wavelength simultaneously correlated with multiple turf canopy variables such as turf quality and canopy temperature, and that the stress index (R693/R759) was also a good indicator of canopy stress status.

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Lusheng Zeng, Jiayang Liu, Robert N. Carrow, Paul L. Raymer and Qingguo Huang

Organic coatings on sand particles can cause soil water repellency (SWR) where a soil does not spontaneously wet; this leads to challenges in water management and crop production. In laboratory studies, we evaluated a novel approach using direct application of 10 enzymes at three (low, medium, high) dosages to remediate SWR on two sand turfgrass soils in a 3-day incubation study and a second study at high dosage with 1-day incubation. A soil:solution ratio of 1:1 (10 g soil and 10 mL solution) was used and a deionized water control included. For Soil 7, a very strongly hydrophobic soil from a localized dry spot turfgrass area with a water drop penetration time (WDPT) of 7440 seconds (untreated) and 332 to 338 seconds (water-treated), the high dosage rates of laccase, chitinase, and protease at 1 and 3 days incubation resulted in WDPT of less than 60 seconds (i.e., hydrophilic soil). Pectinase exhibited similar results only in the 3-day incubation study. On the strongly hydrophobic Soil 21 (WDPT of 655 seconds untreated; 94 to 133 water-treated) from the dry area of a fairy ring-affected area on a turfgrass site, high dosages of chitinase, laccase, pectinase, and protease reduced WDPT to less than 60 seconds in both studies; and medium dosage rates were also effective for all but protease in the 3-day incubation study. Each of the four most effective enzymes for reducing WDPT, noted previously, demonstrated a significant exponential or logarithmic relationship between decreasing WDPT and increasing enzyme dosage. Further studies in field situations will be required to determine enzyme effectiveness on SWR and water management.

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Sudeep S. Sidhu, Qingguo Huang, Robert N. Carrow and Paul L. Raymer

Accumulation of excessive organic matter as thatch restricts permeability of putting greens and is one of the most difficult problems in turfgrass management. A greenhouse experiment using potted bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) determined the efficacy of a ligninolytic enzyme, laccase, in reducing organic matter accumulation in the thatch-mat layer. Laccase was added biweekly at 0, 0.206, 2.06, and 20.6 units of activity/cm2 with and without guaiacol (2-methoxyphenol), a mediator of laccase, and sampling was performed after two and nine months. Parameters investigated included thickness of the organic layer, thatch layer and mat layer, organic matter content, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and lignin content. Organic matter and thatch layer increased between the two sampling dates in all treatments. Laccase was shown to be effective in slowing the rate of accumulation of organic matter and thatch layer. After two months, application of 20.6 units/cm2 of laccase reduced organic layer thickness by 8.7% and extractive-free total lignin content by 8.4% when compared with non-treated control. After nine months, laccase application rates of 2.06 units/cm2 reduced organic matter and thatch layer thickness by 15.6% and 45.0%, respectively, below levels observed in the non-treated control. Applications using 0.206 units/cm2 of laccase were ineffective. Laccase applications had no influence on turf quality. These positive responses suggest laccase treatments could be a non-disruptive option for thatch and/or mat control in bentgrass.

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Sudeep S. Sidhu, Qingguo Huang, Robert N. Carrow and Paul L. Raymer

Organic layer formation in the form of thatch is a major problem in managed turfgrass systems. Biweekly application of laccase enzyme has been well-documented to facilitate the degradation of thatch and reduce the accumulation rate of organic matter in ‘Crenshaw’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). A field experiment involving creeping bentgrass was conducted to evaluate the residual effects on thatch accumulation after ceasing laccase applications. A significant reduction in thatch layer thickness was observed at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation when laccase was applied at different rates and frequencies. Residual effects of laccase application were observed for thatch layer thickness, but no additional accumulation of thatch was observed 6 months after treatment cessation. At 18 months after treatment initiation, a significant increase in the thatch layer was observed where treatments had been ceased for 12 months, but no thatch accumulation was observed for laccase treatment for a second 6-month period during the second year. This information is critical to turf practitioners when developing laccase application protocols. Limiting laccase applications for a period of 6 months during 1 year was shown to be effective for thatch control.