Bermudagrass and Buffalograss Drought Response and Recovery at Two Soil Depths Academic Article uri icon


  • Drought responsive turf grass cultivars are becoming increasingly important in water onservation. Eight cultivars of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], one cultivar of buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.], 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. Individual cultivar responses to drought and post-drought recovery time were quantified through digital image analysis as the number of days to decrease to or increase to 50% green ground cover, respectively. No grass survived the 60-d drought when planted on the restricted 10-cm soil depth in 2006 or 2007, while all entries survived when planted on the unrestricted native soil depth. Both study years provided unique conditions for investigating drought response as the mean time to reach 50% green ground cover differed by 17 d between the 2 yr of study. Some cultivars lost 50% green ground cover in 20 d while other cultivars lasted the entire 60-d drought period without losing 50% green ground cover. Post-drought turf grass recovery responses differed by as much as 45 d in achieving 50% green ground cover. Documenting individual cultivar responses to drought and recovery may provide perspective on individual grass cultivars that may initiate poor irrigation management behavior due to early leaf firing as well as refine consumer expectations following drought conditions. Crop Science Society of America.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Steinke, K., Chalmers, D., Thomas, J., & White, R.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Steinke, K||Chalmers, D||Thomas, J||White, R

publication date

  • January 2011