Title page for ETD etd-04252002-130324

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Beasley, Jeffrey S
URN etd-04252002-130324
Title Nitrogen Regime Influence on Nutrient and Sediment Surface Runoff During Vegetative Establishment of Bermudagrass
Degree Master of Science
Department Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Chalmers, David R. Committee Chair
Ervin, Erik H. Committee Member
Mullins, Gregory L. Committee Member
Reneau, Raymond B. Jr. Committee Member
  • Bermudagrass
  • Sprig
  • Surface runoff
  • Nitrogen loss
Date of Defense 2002-01-07
Availability unrestricted
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) is a popular turfgrass used throughout the Southeast. Bermudagrass is established primarily as sprigs on large acreage sites. Currently, the industry standard practice (ISP) of fertilization during

bermudagrass sprig establishment is 48.8 kg N ha-1 wk-1. This fertilizer rate can be excessive on morphologically immature sprigs in the initial weeks of establishment, thus making the possibility of offsite surface runoff N events more likely. Two experiments were conducted in 2000 and 2001 where sprigs were established at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 weeks prior to applying simulated rainfall (WPRS) following N fertilization rates of the ISP or a lower initial N (LIN) rate of 12.2 kg N ha-1 wk-1 the first four weeks and then

48.8 kg N ha-1 wk-1 until full establishment. At the tenth week all treatments were subjected to rainfall simulation at 63.5 mm hr-1. Once surface runoff was induced, rainfall continued for thirty minutes during which time runoff samples were taken every five minutes and analyzed for sediment losses, N concentrations in the nitrate and ammonium forms, and phosphorus losses as dissolved reactive P (DRP). Experimental results indicate an ability to curb N losses through surface runoff during the initial weeks of sprig establishment following the LIN with only modest delays in sprig establishment.

Sprigs established for the same time period, under the ISP or LIN, were very similar in

growth, release of surface runoff, and sediment losses during runoff events.

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