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Crop Science Abstract - Turfgrass Science

Nitrogen Source Effects on Ammonia Volatilization from Warm-Season Sod


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 52 No. 3, p. 1379-1384
    Received: Apr 7, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): guertea@auburn.edu
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  1. E.C. Knight Huckabya,
  2. C.W. Wooda and
  3. E.A. Guertal *a
  1. a Dep. of Agronomy and Soils, 201 Funchess Hall, Auburn Univ., Auburn, AL 36849


Ammonia (NH3) volatilization from fertilized turfgrass may represent a worst-case scenario: surface application without incorporation, especially if irrigation is not available. Although studied in field crop systems, field-scale losses of NH3 from turfgrass systems have received little study. Additionally, volatilization research with slow-release N sources is largely absent from the turfgrass literature. The objective of this study was to quantify NH3 volatilization from three N sources applied to warm-season turfgrass, using a field-scale mast system not yet evaluated in turfgrass settings. Treatments were applied to hybrid bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt Davy] or zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) sod in October 2005, May 2006, and September 2006. Fertilizer treatments were urea (46–0–0), methylene urea (40–0–0), and polymer coated urea (41–0–0) applied at a N rate of 146 kg ha−1. For 10 d NH3 was captured using a passive micrometeorological system of oxalic acid coated traps mounted on a rotating mast in the center of a 15 m diameter circular plot. In October 2005, NH3 volatilized from plots fertilized with urea was 11.7% of total N applied, which is significantly more volatilization than measured from plots receiving polymer coated urea. In May 2006 significantly more NH3 volatilized from plots fertilized with urea (11.7%) than from those fertilized with polymer-coated urea (3.6%). The 2006 studies had similar results, with significantly more NH3 volatilized from urea fertilized plots (average of 17.9%) than from plots fertilized with methylene urea (5.8%) or polymer-coated urea (4.4%).Of the three N sources, urea volatilized a greater proportion of applied N than the slow-release sources methylene urea and polymer coated urea.

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