Golf Course Management

FEB 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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02.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 73 strategy requires understanding the life his- tory of silvery-thread moss, that is, growth, regeneration and reproductive strategies. e purpose for studying these basic traits is to identify weaknesses and/or vulnerabilities in the life cycle that control strategies would later attempt to exploit. erefore, the primary goal of our study is to test for the presence of life- history differences between genotypes found in putting greens and native genotypes of sil - very-thread moss using a simple, yet powerful, ecological experiment that enables research - ers to infer whether differences in life-history traits are linked to genetic adaptations or to the environment. It is hypothesized that life- history and developmental differences may enable silvery-thread moss to better survive and flourish in putting greens than in native habitats, and these differences may be related to inorganic nutrient status. Materials and methods Obtaining collections Superintendents in the U.S. and Canada were provided with sampling kits so they could collect specimens from putting greens. e kits contained prepaid padded envelopes, small coin envelopes, a sampling survey form, and instructions for harvesting moss speci - mens from putting greens. Superintendents were instructed to: harvest a colony of pure moss (3 to 4 centimeters in diameter) using a knife or small soil probe; immediately enclose the specimen in the provided coin envelope; complete the sampling survey form (contact information and site description); and pack - age the specimen(s) and survey form in the prepaid envelope and mail. Forty-five sam - pling kits were distributed to superintendents during regional and national presentations on moss control, and 21 responses were received. Responding golf course superintendents mailed dry moss cores of silvery-thread moss (identities confirmed by John Brinda, Ph.D., of the Missouri Botanical Garden) from the following states and one Canadian province (the number of locations follows the location name): California, 6; Ohio, 3; South Dakota, 2; Colorado, 1; Illinois, 1; Minnesota, 1; Ne - vada, 1; Oregon, 1; and Alberta, Canada, 1. For specimens not from putting greens, coau - thors made opportunistic collections from a variety of locations including Nevada, 4; Or - egon, 3; California, 2; Arizona, 2; Georgia, 1; Kentucky, 1; Massachusetts, 1; New Mexico, 1; Pennsylvania, 1; and Washington, 1. A total Figure 2. Silvery-thread moss can exhibit a patch-like growth habit (top), or it can be interwoven in a creeping bentgrass putting green (bottom). Photos by Zane Raudenbush of 34 genotypes were used throughout the study: 17 from greens and 17 native. Culturing genotypes Each of the 34 genotypes was cultured by removing a single shoot from each sample, cut - ting it to 0.08 inch (2 millimeters) in length with a straight edge, and planting it upright in the center of a 1.38-inch (35-millimeter) plastic petri dish containing sterilized sand. Plants were grown in a plant growth chamber fitted with fluorescent and incandescent lights with photoperiod set at 12 hours (68 F/20 C, lighted; 46.4 F/8 C, darkened).

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