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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Turfgrass Wear Tolerance Mechanisms: I. Wear Tolerance of Seven Turfgrass Species and Quantitative Methods for Determining Turfgrass Wear Injury1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 2, p. 208-211
    Received: Aug 18, 1973

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  1. R. C. Shearman and
  2. J. B. Beard2



The relative wear tolerance of seven cool-season turfgrass species was determined for both sled (foot-like) and wheel (vehicular) wear injury. Four methods of evaluating wear tolerance differentials were used: 1) visual rating of wear injury, 2) percent total cell wall content (TCW), 3) percent verdure, and 4) percent chlorophyll/unit area remaining after wear treatment. Manhattan perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was most tolerant to wheel wear; Kentucky 31 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) and Merion Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) ranked second; Pennlawn red fescue (F. rubra L.) and Italian ryegrass (L. multiflorum Lam.) were intermediate; while Cascade chewings fescue (F. rubra var. commutata Gaud.) and rough bluegrass (P. trivialis L.) ranked lowest. The relative ranking for sled wear was slightly different from that for the wheel. Visual ratings indicated that Manhattan, Kentucky 31, and Merion were equally tolerant to sled wear. However, Merion was the most wear tolerant to sled injury, according to ratings based on the percent verdure remaining after treatment. Manhattan and Kentucky 31 ranked second and third, respectively; while, Cascade chewings fescue and rough bluegrass were almost destroyed by the crushing, tearing action of the sled.

Wear tolerance differentiation among species for the four methods tested was in high agreement. However, percent verdure remaining was the preferred method for quantitatively evaluating wear tolerance differentials. It eliminated arbitrary decisions that were inherent in the visual rating system, and involved fewer procedural steps than either the percent TCW or percent chlorophyll content determinations.

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