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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Groundwater Quality

Orthophosphate Leaching in St. Augustinegrass and Zoysiagrass Grown in Sandy Soil under Field Conditions


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 3, p. 749-757
    Received: June 10, 2012
    Published: April 5, 2013

    * Corresponding author(s): rfgonzalezdr@gmail.com
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  1. Ronald F. Gonzalez *a,
  2. Jerry B. Sartaina,
  3. Jason K. Kruseb,
  4. Thomas A. Obrezaa,
  5. George A. O’Connora and
  6. Willie G. Harrisa
  1. a Soil and Water Science Dep., Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 110290, Gainesville, FL 32611
    b Environmental Horticulture Dep., Univ. of Florida, P.O. Box 110670, Gainesville, FL32611. Assigned to Associate Editor Goswin Heckrath


Phosphorus (P) is required to maintain healthy, high-quality, warm-season turf. However, excessive P applications to soils with poor P retention capabilities may lead to leaching losses to groundwater. This field study was conducted to determine the maximum P fertilizer application rate to Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) [Kuntze] ‘Floratam’ St. Augustinegrass (St. Augustinegrass) and Zoysia japonica ‘Empire’ zoysiagrass (zoysiagrass) below which P leaching is minimized. Five P levels ranging from 0 to 5.0 g P m−2 yr−1 were surface applied as triple superphosphate. Turf was established on an uncoated, low-P sand with negligible P retention capacity. Leaf and root growth, tissue P concentration, soil P concentration, soil P saturation, leachate volume, and orthophosphate (Pi) concentration in leachates were measured. Mehlich 1–extractable soil P (M1-P) and soil P saturation ratio (PSR) increased with time as the P rate increased. Lower M1-P and PSR values were measured with St. Augustinegrass, which absorbed more P than did zoysiagrass. The root system of St. Augustinegrass was larger and deeper compared with zoysiagrass, promoting greater P uptake and less P leaching. If tissue analysis indicates that P fertilization is required and the soil has the capacity to retain additional P, application of 0.8 g P m−2 yr−1 to zoysiagrass and 1.07 g P m−2 yr−1 to St. Augustinegrass is appropriate and does not result in increased Pi leaching.

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Copyright © 2013. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.