Date Available


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Plant and Soil Science

First Advisor

David W. Williams


The use of seed-propagated bermudagrasses [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], particularly for athletic fields, is rapidly increasing. Recently developed seeded cultivars have been bred for improved turfgrass quality (finer texture, darker green color, etc.) and for increased cold tolerance, but their ability to tolerate wear has not been investigated. This study was conducted to determine if three seeded cultivars could tolerate simulated athletic wear as well as one vegetative cultivar commonly used in Kentucky. The seeded cultivars, Riviera, Princess 77 and Yukon were planted at 24.4 and 48.8 kg PLS ha-1 and the vegetative cultivar Quickstand was sprigged at 1250 and 2500 bu ha-1 in the second week of June. Beginning at the end of August each year (in conjunction with the Kentucky high school football season), simulated wear treatments equivalent to either three, two, one or zero football games wk-1, using a Brinkman traffic simulator, were imposed. Plots were then evaluated for turfgrass quality (TQ) and percent turfgrass cover (PC) through mid-November. The possibility that precipitation amounts and timing may have been a factor is the large end of season PC means is also examined. Final PC means for each season under the highest wear treatment were mixed with Princess 77 having a statistically greater mean (Pandlt;0.0001) of 42% than any other cultivar in 2002, where the 2003 results showed Riviera to have the statistically higher (Pandlt;0.0001) mean (71%) over the other cultivars. TQ ratings were inconsistent when used as a measure of wear tolerance. Stolon fresh weights were also measured between the cultivars as an examination of morphological characteristics that could be associated with wear tolerance, but were not statistically correlated (Pandgt;0.05) to a given cultivars wear tolerance ability.