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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Turfgrass Growth, N Use, and Water Use under Soil Compaction and N Fertilization1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 75 No. 3, p. 488-492
    Received: Dec 21, 1981

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  1. M. J. Sills and
  2. R. N. Carrow2



Soil compaction is a problem in many turf areas. In this greenhouse study the effects of soil compaction on turfgrass growth, N use, and water use were investigated. Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ‘Pennfine’) was subjected to two compaction treatments with an 11.5 kg falling weight: a) none and b) heavy-874 J energy. Two parts of fine, montmorillonitic mesic, Aquic Argiudoll soil (Chase silt loam) was used to one part medium silica sand by volume. Fertilization rate treatments were 0.5 and 1.0 kg N/100m2. Nitrogen carrier treatments were water soluble N applied as NH4NO3 and water insoluble N applied as IBDU (isobutylidine diurea). Compaction increased bulk density, water retention, and soil strength, while decreasing aeration porosity. Visual quality, clipping yield, N use per unit area of sod, evapotranspiration, and root growth declined with compaction. Verdure, total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC), and percent N in leaf tissue were not affected by compaction. Initial TNC levels, water use efficiency, and N use per unit area, increased as N rate increased. Clipping yield, N use per unit area, and water use efficiency were higher with a water-soluble N carrier. Percent N in leaf tissue, early in the study, increased with water-insoluble fertilizer. The most detrimental effects of compaction were on root weight and distribution at the high N rate. Application of high N did not compensate for the adverse effects of compaction.

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