Semester of Graduation

spring 2019

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

School of Plant Environmental and Soil Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon x C. transvaalensis) ‘Latitude 36’ is grown because of its quality, excellent wear tolerance and fast recuperation. Hybrid bermudagrasses are vegetatively propagated as sprigs with N applied to accelerate establishment. Since losses of soil and associated nutrients in runoff are relatively high when ground coverage is low, rapid establishment is desirable from an environmental besides aesthetic basis. However, neither the interactive effect of sprig density and N fertilization on the rate of bermudagrass expansion nor soil and nutrient loss during establishment has been carefully examined. The current work measured bermudagrass coverage, runoff volume and concentrations of inorganic N, total P (TP) and total solids during 30-min rainfall simulations at 10, 20, and 30 DAP (days after planting) from replicate trays of bermudagrass established at 494 or 1482 bu ha-1 and fertilized at 12 or 48 kg N ha-1 wk-1. All treatment combinations of sprig planting and N rates resulted in > 88% groundcover 35 DAP. Increasing sprig planting rates accelerated bermudagrass establishment, whereas increasing N fertility did not. Higher bermudagrass coverage led to lower runoff volumes and reduced total solids in runoff. The lower sprig rate resulted in higher sediment losses of 507,082 compared to 392,810 g/ha for the higher rate. Respective P losses were 271 and 200 g/ha. Dissolved N losses at the higher application rate were 327 and 207 g/ha for sprig planting rates of 494 and 1482 bu ha-1 respectively, compared to N losses of 1282 g and 586 g/ha at the lower N rate. The use of the lower N rate was sufficient across both sprig planting rates to achieve >88% within 35 DAP.

Committee Chair

Beasley, Jeffrey

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