WATER RESOURCES RESEARCH GRANT PROPOSAL
Project ID: 2003CT24B
Title: Handheld Light Meters and Anion Exchange Membranes to Reduce the Threat of Water Pollution from Turfgrass Fertilizers
Project Type: Research
Focus Categories: Nitrate Contamination, Non Point Pollution, Nutrients
Keywords: nitrogen, fertilizers, water quality monitoring, water quality management, leaching, solute transport, plant growth, turfgrass management, ion exchange
Start Date: 01/01/2003
End Date: 01/01/2005
Federal Funds: $26690.00
Matching Funds: $41693.00
Congressional District: 2nd
Principal Investigator: Guillard, Karl
Abstract: Turf is replacing
cropland along the entire Eastern Seaboard of North America. Although these
areas are not regarded as agricultural cropland, they may receive comparable
or greater amounts of fertilizers than are applied to cropland. Increased
lawn and garden fertilizer use was suspected as the cause for the additional
sources of N in the sewered areas, thereby replacing the release of N from
on-site domestic septic systems as the principal source of this constituent
in ground water. Earlier studies have suggested that the fertilization of
lawns has a high potential to degrade water quality in this region (Baier
and Rykbost, 1976). Because a large land area devoted to fertilized turf
Connecticut and other Eastern states is located adjacent to pond, lake, river,
and coastal shorelines, N losses from turf may contribute significantly to
the degradation of sensitive N-limited ecosystems when the total N load over
a larger geographical area is considered. Soil tests are now routinely used
in agricultural crop production, and expected as part of nutrient management
plans for most crops. It is time for such tests to be developed and implemented
for turf. The problem is that up until now, no reliable N test has been developed
for turf. Preliminary data from my laboratory suggest that handheld meters
and anion exchange membranes (AEMs) have great potential in fine-tuning N
management for turf. Establishment of a database utilizing tristimulus and
reflectance meter readings and desorbed nitrate-N from AEMs will allow for
the development of a rapid and reliable N management program for turf that
can be customized for specific sites and not based on subjective determinations.
It can be reasonably expected that the results of the proposed work will
conclusive evidence to show that AEMs and handheld meters can provide rapid,
site-specific recommendations to optimize N management for various turfgrasses
used for various purposes. The overall goal of the proposed research is to
show that handheld tristimulus and reflectance meters and AEMs can be used
as tools to guide N fertilization management of turf. Most of my preliminary
work was conducted under a controlled environment in the greenhouse and now
must be confirmed with field studies.
The specific objectives of the proposed research are:
· Determine the relationship between tristimulus and reflectance meter readings and turf color quality responses under field conditions.
· Determine the relationship between soil nitrate-N (desorbed from anion exchange membranes) and turf growth responses under field conditions.
· Determine the relationship between tristimulus and reflectance meter readings and soil nitrate-N (desorbed from anion exchange membranes) under field conditions.
· Determine the relationship between soil nitrate-N (desorbed from anion exchange membranes) and nitrate leaching from turf soil monolith lysimeters under controlled conditions.
Progress/Completion Report PDF