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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGING BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES AND RHIZOSPHERE ECOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF APPALACHIAN PASTURE AND AMENITY GRASSES Project Number: 1932-12000-004-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: May 17, 2006
End Date: May 16, 2011

Objective:
To discover new information about soil components and processes that will improve pasture and amenity grass establishment and function in Appalachian hill-land grazing and turfgrass ecosystems. Specific objectives: Quantify plant community effects on nutrient pools, fluxes and transformations; Determine manageable regulators of these nutrient pools for incorporation into management models; Develop practices to overcome soil physical and chemical limitations for turf uses such as athletic fields, golf courses and home lawns. This approach will involve natural and constructed soils.

Approach:
(1) Establish a baseline of management and vegetation effects on Appalachian hill-land soil nutrient and organic matter dynamics; (2) Determine the extent to which pasture management alters organic matter transformations through changes in soil biological communities; (3) Determine the response of root morphology and function on phosphorus and nitrogen uptake/availability in the rhizosphere and the biological and geochemical mechanisms for increasing phosphorus availability to plants; (4) Determine whether tannins, an important decomposition product of plant matter, interact to regulate organic matter and nutrient availability; and (5) Develop and test approaches to modifying the rhizosphere through constructed soils utilizing agricultural and/or industrial by-products as amendments for amenity grasses; Synthesize the findings into conceptual models that provide a framework for decision support tools.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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