Drought Response and Recovery Characteristics of St. Augustinegrass Cultivars
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As water resources become restricted for use on amenity turfgrass systems, the inability for consumers to delineate incremental drought stress relating to plant health can result in the misuse of water resources during drought conditions. Seven cultivars of St. Augustinegrass (SA) [Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze] and two root zone depths were evaluated for drought response and recovery during consecutive 60-d drought and 60-d recovery periods over 2 yr. Using digital image analysis, drought response and recovery were quantified as the number of days to decrease or increase to 50% green ground cover, respectively. Both study years provided unique conditions for investigating drought response as the mean time to reach 50% green ground cover differed by 24 d between the 2 yr of study. Some SA cultivars lost 50% green ground cover in 23 d while other cultivars lasted the entire 60 d drought period without losing 50% green ground cover. Floratam provided the most consistent drought response and recovery compared to other SA cultivars. Once water was no longer limited, cultivars demonstrated up to a 52 d difference in attaining 50% green ground cover. Results could significantly impact home consumer irrigation behaviors and influence consumer expectations of turfgrass following drought conditions. © Crop Science Society of America.
author list (cited authors)
Steinke, K., Chalmers, D., Thomas, J., White, R., & Fipps, G.