Burgeoning restrictions on water use, fertilization, and pesticide application are becoming important considerations in golf course design and management. In response, scientists are searching for sustainable methods to lessen the environmental impact of golf courses.
Other factors, including increasing energy costs, human health concerns, and environmental awareness are also prompting turfgrass managers to consider the use of alternative turfgrasses as a lower input, sustainable maintenance practice. A new study published in HortScience identified four alternative turfgrass species—two bentgrasses and two fescues—as promising for use as low-input fairways.
In the cool-season region of the United States, golf course managers traditionally grow creeping bentgrass on putting greens and favor Kentucky bluegrass, creeping bentgrass, or perennial ryegrass for fairways. When used on fairways, however, these species require significant amounts of inputs such as nitrogen fertilization, irrigation, and pesticides. A sustainable, effective strategy to deal with potential risks associated with these inputs may be the use of alternative turfgrass species. The challenge is finding low-input turf that can survive and perform adequately under conditions of little or no supplemental irrigation, high traffic, no pesticides, and reduced fertility.
Eric Watkins, Andrew B. Hollman, and Brian P. Horgan of the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota designed a research study that tested alternative turfgrass species not currently used for golf course fairways in the northern U.S. In 2005, 17 species of turfgrass were established on native soil in St. Paul. Each species was evaluated at three levels of traffic (zero, three, or six passes per week using a drum-type traffic simulator) and two mowing heights (1.90 and 2.54 cm).
In 2006, velvet bentgrass (Agrostis canina L.), colonial bentgrass (Agrostis capillaris L.), and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) maintained acceptable quality in all treatment combinations. In 2007, Chewings fescue (Festuca rubra L. ssp. fallax) and sheep fescue (Festuca ovina L.) were the top-performing species regardless of treatment. Hard fescue (Festuca brevipila Tracey) performed poorly the first year of the study, but performed well in the second year. The other species evaluated in the study did not perform at acceptable levels.
The test results indicated that sheep fescue, Chewings fescue, colonial bentgrass, and velvet bentgrass should be studied further for use on low-input golf course fairways in the northern U.S. "In this study, the fine fescue species showed the greatest potential for use on low-input golf course fairways. To our knowledge, this is the first report of sheep fescue being a successful fairway turf in the United States", noted Watkins. The research demonstrates that alternative cool-season turfgrass species may be able to perform adequately on golf course fairways under low-input conditions in Minnesota and similar areas.
The study findings may hold great promise for turfgrass professionals, but will the new grasses prove popular with golfers? According to Watkins, researchers in the United Kingdom acknowledged high levels of support for increased biodiversity among golf course superintendents, but found that there were conflicts between the golfers' preferences and the needs of conservation plans that promote biodiversity. "Similarly, we expect that resistance from golfers to new grass species may limit the use of low-input species on golf course fairways."
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/45/1/113
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine