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Book: Proceedings of the Second International Turfgrass Research Conference
Published by: American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America



  1.  p. 445-451
    Proceedings of the Second International Turfgrass Research Conference

    Eliot C. Roberts (ed.)

    ISBN: 978-0-89118-573-4


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Thatch decomposition in bermudagrass turf1

  1. R.L. Duble and
  2. R.W. Weaver


Bermudagrasses (Cynodon spp.) exhibit wide variability in texture, density, and chemical composition. A collection of 200 turf-type bermudagrasses maintained at a 2.5-cm cutting height was screened for thatch accumulation and fiber composition. Thatch accumulation ranged from 10 to 29 mm over a 2-year growth period and was highly correlated with the lignin content of the aboveground portion of the turf. A sample of 15 of these grasses maintained at putting green height (0.6 cm) did not show this relationship between thatch and lignin content. These results suggest the need to include more than one mowing height when evaluating grasses for thatch accumulation. Large populations of fungi and bacteria were associated with the thatch. Fungi were predominant on stem tissue; whereas, bacteria were most numerous on leaf tissue. Decomposition of leaf and stem tissue from bermudagrass was accomplished twice as fast as that of root tissue. Decomposition as measured by soil respiration was most rapid during the first 10 days of contact with the soil. The rate of decomposition was related to the lignin content of the tissue. A nonspecific fungicide significantly retarded.the decomposition of stem tissue; while a specific fungicide had much less effect on soil respiration. Additional index words: Thatch, Organic residues, Lignin, Fungicides, Cynodon dactylon L.

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Copyright © 1974. Copyright 1974 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc. and the Crop Science Society of America, Inc., 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA