Golf Course Management

MAR 2015

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

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90 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 03.15 Examining turfgrass species and management regimes for enhanced carbon sequestration Aaron Patton, Ph.D. Jon Trappe, M.S. Quincy Law, M.S. Dan Weisenberger Ron Turco, Ph.D. Soil carbon sequestration has been pro - posed as a method to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. Although our understand - ing of soil carbon dynamics in wooded land- scapes and agricultural crops has increased signifcantly in recent years, highly managed turf areas have remained understudied. Turf ecosystems have tremendous potential to se - quester carbon in the soil, but more research is needed to understand how we can enhance soil carbon sequestration. To improve our un - derstanding of carbon sequestration, we are learning how turf species and management practices infuence soil carbon. Our research objectives include: 1. Determining the greenhouse gas fux of common turf species: perennial rye - grass, Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. 2. Quantifying total and labile soil carbon and total nitrogen in stands of various ages of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and zoysiagrass. 3. Measuring how turf clippings (residues) affect soil microbial activity and soil ag - gregate stability. 4. Determining the infuence of vari - ous tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass cultivars with differing leaf elongation rates on mowing frequency in order to identify turfgrasses with reduced mow - ing requirements and increased carbon sequestration potential. 5. Measuring the effects of grass clipping management (collect or return) on USGA research reports Editor's note: The United States Golf Association funds a wide range of research related to golf course management. The reports published here were written by university researchers to describe results of their USGA-funded research. As stated in the reports, some of these results are preliminary because the research projects or the data analysis have not been completed. More information on USGA-funded research is available at (Report) greenhouse gas fux and soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics. The data available now are preliminary results because additional research and analy - sis remain to be completed. Refereed journal articles will be submitted at the conclusion of the study. The preliminary carbon dioxide fux re - sults by species predominately demonstrate how weather impacts greenhouse gas fux. Carbon dioxide fux data across species closely tracked soil temperature data for each of the sampling dates. Bermudagrass was consis - tently among the species with the lowest car- bon dioxide fux across 14 collection dates. Sampling from the greenhouse gas fux chambers. Photo by Jon Trappe

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