Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the 1994 World Scientific Congress of Golf

By A. J. Cochran; M. R. Farrally | Go to book overview

66

Soil macropore effects on the fate of phosphorus in a turfgrass biosystem

S.K. Starrett, N.E. Christians and T.A. Austin

Civil and Const. Engineering Dept., Hort. Dept., Civil and Const.
Engineering Dept., respectively, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa,
USA

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is commonly applied to turfgrass areas as a fertilizer. It has been associated with detrimental effects on the environment by causing eutrophication of surface waters. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of irrigation regimes on the movement of P when applied to undisturbed soil columns with intact soil macropores. The soil columns were collected by encasing undisturbed soil columns 20 cm in diameter by 50 cm deep, in concrete. Two irrigation treatments that included one 2.54-cm application compared to four 0.64-cm applications over a 7-day test period were applied to the column surface, after a 33 kg P ha-1 application. Fifty-four percent more P was transported below 20 cm and P leaching was increased from 0.0 mg to 1.0 mg with the one 2.54-cm irrigation treatment than the four 0.64-cm irrigation applications. Whereas heavy irrigation or rainfall events can potentially move P through the macropores in the soil profile, carefully controlled irrigation practices can prevent P movement.

Keywords: Nutrient Fate, Preferential Flow, Turfgrass.


1 Introduction

Phosphorus (P) is an essential element for plant growth and can become a limiting factor during establishment and growth of mature grasses (Turgeon, 1985). Low P concentrations can result in delayed maturity, reduced yields, and stunted leaf growth (Munson, 1982).

With the current elevation of public concern, all industries are being questioned about their effect on the environment. The turfgrass industry is often criticized for applying fertilizers and pesticides as part of their management system to grasses. An understanding of the fate of these chemicals is needed to manage turfgrass maintenance better, and to determine the chemicals that pose an environmental threat. Little research has been done concerning their environmental effects of chemicals applied to turfgrasses (Walker et al., 1990). Phosphorus is of concern because it is commonly applied to turfgrass areas and can have detrimental effects. Eutrophication, excessive algae growth that decreases dissolved oxygen of surface waters, can occur if P and nitrogen (N) are

Science and Golf II: Proceedings of the World Scientific Congress of Golf. Edited by A.J. Cochran and M.R. Farrally. Published in 1994 by E & FN Spon, London. ISBN 0 419 18790 1

-443-

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