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Response of tropical turfgrasses to recycled water in southern Queensland

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Menzel, C. M. and Broomhall, P. (2006) Response of tropical turfgrasses to recycled water in southern Queensland. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 46 (12). pp. 1645-1652.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EA04245

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au


The effects of recycled water (effluent) on 8 tropical grasses growing in 100-L bags of sand were studied in Murrumba Downs, just north of Brisbane in southern Queensland (27.4°S, 153.1°E). The species used were: Axonopus compressus (broad-leaf carpetgrass), Cynodon dactylon (bermudagrass 'Winter Green') and C. dactylon x C. transvaalensis hybrid ('Tifgreen'), Digitaria didactyla (Queensland blue couch), Paspalum notatum (bahiagrass '38824'), Stenotaphrum secundatum (buffalograss 'Palmetto'), Eremochloa ophiuroides (centipedegrass 'Centec') and Zoysia japonica (zoysiagrass 'ZT-11'). From May 2002 to June 2003, control plots were irrigated with potable water and fertilised monthly. Plots irrigated with effluent received no fertiliser from May to August 2002 (deficient phase), complete fertilisers at control rates from September to December 2002 (recovery phase) and nitrogen (N) only at control rates from January to June 2003 (supplementary phase). In October 2002, the average shoot weight of plants from the effluent plots was 4% of that from potable plots, with centipedegrass less affected than the other species (relative growth of 20%). Shoot N concentrations declined by 40% in the effluent plots from May to August 2002 (1.8 ± 0.1%) along with phosphorus (P, 0.46 ± 0.02%), potassium (K, 1.6 ± 0.2%), sulfur (S, 0.28 ± 0.02%) and manganese (Mn, 19 ± 2 mg/kg) concentrations. Only the N and Mn concentrations were below the optimum for grasses. The grasses grew satisfactorily when irrigated with effluent if it was supplemented with N. Between January and June 2003 the average weight of shoots from the effluent plots was 116% of the weight of shoots from the control plots. Shoot nutrient concentrations were also similar in the 2 regimes at this time. The recycled water supplied 23% of the N required for maximum shoot growth, 80-100% of the P and K, and 500-880% of the S, calcium and magnesium. The use of recycled water represents savings in irrigation and fertiliser costs, and reductions in the discharge of N and P to local waterways. Effluent is currently about 50% of the cost of potable water with a saving of about AU$8000/ha.year for a typical sporting field.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Plant Science
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Effluent; fertiliser; growth; nitrogen; phosphorus; shoot nutrient concentrations; warm-season grasses; wastewater.
Subjects:Plant culture > Lawns and turfgrasses
Plant culture > Growth regulators
Plant culture > Irrigation farming
Science > Botany > Plant ecology
Live Archive:02 Feb 2009 02:06
Last Modified:11 May 2022 02:23

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