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Crop Science Abstract - Turfgrass Science

Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and Grooming Affect Bermudagrass Traffic Tolerance


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 51 No. 5, p. 2204-2211
    Received: Aug 27, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): athoms@utk.edu
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  1. Adam W. Thoms *a,
  2. John C. Sorochana,
  3. James T. Brosnana and
  4. Thomas J. Samplesa
  1. a Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37996


Data describing intraspecific differences in hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt Davy] traffic tolerance are limited. Field research was conducted evaluating the effects of mowing practices and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) overseeding on the traffic tolerance of three hybrid and one improved common bermudagrass. Bermudagrass cultivars (‘Tifway’, ‘Patriot’, ‘Mississippi Choice’, and ‘Riviera’) were subjected to mowing programs (reel mowing at 2.2 cm [RM] or RM plus grooming to a 1.9 cm depth [RMPG]) and perennial ryegrass overseeding (0 kg pure live seed [PLS] ha−1 or 593 kg PLS ha−1). Simulated traffic was applied twice weekly with a Cady traffic simulator. Percent green cover was measured after each simulated traffic event using digital image analysis. On >70% of evaluation dates, Tifway and Riviera yielded higher percent green cover compared to Patriot, while Mississippi Choice ranked intermediate. Reel mowing at 2.2 cm plus grooming to a 1.9 cm depth reduced percent green cover on the majority of rating dates in 2006; however, this response was not observed in 2007. Reel mowing at 2.2 cm plus grooming to a 1.9 cm depth did not reduce thatch accumulation either year. Reductions in bulk density and increases in green cover, thatch accumulation, and saturated hydraulic conductivity were associated with overseeding, suggesting that this practice may protect bermudagrass athletic fields from both components of traffic stress: wear and soil compaction.

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