New Approaches to Turfgrass Nutrition Humic Substances and Mycorrhizal Inoculation

Authored by: Ali Nikbakht , Mohammad Pessarakli

Handbook of Plant and Crop Physiology

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553286
eBook ISBN: 9781466553293
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16675-51

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Abstract

The use of turfgrasses plays an important role in designing urban areas and sport facilities. The major goal of turfgrass management programs that needs to be carried out properly is to produce beautiful, appealing, attractive, and healthy turfgrasses. On the other hand, turfgrass areas are designed to resist traffic. Turfgrass nutrition, which through adequate fertilization, is one of the most important components of a turfgrass management program. Fertilization greatly affects turf quality, including color, density, and uniformity. Turfgrass managers need to meet two apparently opposite demands and typically use high-nutrient fertilizers in an attempt to maximize turfgrass quality: (1) the demands of the users (athletes need to play and enjoy high-quality turfgrasses and amblers desire to see a well-manicured turf) and (2) ecological concerns. In addition, fertilized turf-grasses normally compete with weed invasions more efficiently and are able to recover from damages imposed by stresses than improper fertilized turfs. However, high-input fertilization programs normally lead to some side effects. From an environmental point of view, high toxicity to soil, high leaching potential, and suppressing impact on soil microorganisms are important issues. On the other hand, this may lead to an increase in maintenance costs by using more chemical fertilizers. A careful and economic use of fertilizers and other inputs becomes increasingly important with regard to increasing serious environmental problems. Improving efficiency of nutrients can reduce these environmental concerns and economic losses and have beneficial effects on plant growth (Christians, 2007). Hence, new approaches must consider low-input turfgrass management systems. Sustainable turfgrass systems rely on natural processes to maintain acceptable turfgrass quality and follow long-term solutions rather than reactive measures at system levels. These systems must be ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible (Harrier and Watson, 2004). Humic substances (HSs) and mycorrhizal inoculation are discussed in this chapter as two potential approaches toward these goals.

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