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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 23 No. 3, p. 452-460
    Received: Jan 29, 1993

    * Corresponding author(s):
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The Role of Turfgrasses in Environmental Protection and Their Benefits to Humans

  1. James B Beard * and
  2. Robert L. Green
  1. formerly Dep. of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, currently International Sports Turf Institute, College Station, Texas 77843,
    Dep. of Botany and Plant Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521.



Turfgrasses have been utilized by humans to enhance their environment for more than 10 centuries. The complexity and comprehensiveness of these environmental benefits that improve our quality-of-life are just now being quantitatively documented through research. Turfgrass benefits may be divided into (i) functional, (ii) recrcational, and (iii) aesthetic components. Specific functional benefits include: excellent soil erosion control and dust stabilization thereby protecting a vital soil resource; improved recharge and quality protection of groundwater, plus flood control; enhanced entrapment and biodegradation of synthetic organic compounds; soil improvement that includes CO2 conversion; accelerated restoration of disturbed soils; substantial urban heat dissipation-temperature moderation; reduced noise, glare, and visual pollution problems; decreased noxious pests and allergy-related pollens; safety in vehicle operation on roadsides and engine longevity on airfields; lowered fire hazard via open, green turfed firebreaks; and improved security of sensitive installations provided by high visibility zones. The recrcational benefits include a low-cost surface for outdoor sport and leisure activities, enhanced physical health of participants, and a unique low-cost cushion against personal impact injuries. The aesthetic benefits include enhanced beauty and attractiveness; a complimentary relationship to the total landscape ecosystem of flowers, shrubs and trees; improved mental health with a positive therapeutic impact, social harmony and stability; improved work productivity; and an overall better quality-of-life, especially in densely populated urban areas.

Contribution of Texas Agric. Exp. Stn. TA no. 30759.

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