Regrowth Dynamics of ‘Tifton 85’ Bermudagrass as Affected by Nitrogen Fertilization
- PD. Alderman *,
- KJ. Boote and
- LE. Sollenberger
‘Tifton 85’ bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) has been widely adopted as a forage and hay crop and is being considered as a cellulosic ethanol feedstock. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of N fertilization rate on Tifton 85 regrowth dynamics. A field study was conducted near Gainesville, FL, on established Tifton 85 in 2006 and 2007. The treatments were N rates of 0, 45, 90, and 135 kg N ha−1 regrowth period−1. Tissue mass, leaf:stem ratio, and tiller number and mass were measured weekly during 28-d regrowth periods. Leaf mass followed logistic time trends with the upper asymptote varying between 50 and 225 g m−2 depending on N rate and season (summer and autumn). Stem mass lagged behind leaf mass for 7 to 14 d, subsequently following linear or quadratic time trends to reach between 75 and 300 g m−2 by 28 d. Increasing N rate from 0 to 135 kg ha−1 period−1 increased tiller mass at 28 d from 1.5 to 3 g tiller−1 in summer and 1 to 1.5 g tiller−1 in autumn. Leaf:stem ratio increased to 1.0 within 14 to 21 d, followed by a subsequent decrease. Rhizome and root mass were not affected by N fertilization. Increasing N rate primarily affected mass and proportion of above-ground plant parts, with little effect on mass of below-ground parts. Nitrogen nutrition index values were similar whether calculated from samples taken to a 10-cm stubble height or from samples taken to the soil surface. Regrowth was not enhanced by N rate beyond 90 kg N ha−1 regrowth period−1.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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