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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GLOBAL CHANGE AND BELOWGROUND PROCESSES IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS Title: Selection of Plants for Optimization of Vegetative Filter Strips Treating Runoff from Turfgrass

Authors
item Smith, Katy
item Phaneuf, C - UNIV. OF MASS.-AMHERST
item Putnam, R - UNIV. OF MASS.-AMHERST
item Lanza, G - UNIV. OF MASS.-AMHERST
item Dhakher, O - UNIV. OF MASS.-AMHERST
item Clark, J - UNIV. OF MASS.-AMHERST

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Runoff from turf environments, such as golf courses, is of increasing concern due to the associated chemical contamination of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and groundwater. Pesticide runoff due to fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides used to maintain the golf courses in acceptable playing condition is a particular concern. Maintaining the quality of turf expected by millions of golfers, homeowners, and the general public while also protecting of the nation’s waterways would be the ideal situation. One possible approach to achieve this balance is through the implementation of effective Vegetative Filter Strips (VFS) on golf courses and other recreational turf environments. The objective of the current study was to screen ten plant species for their ability to reduce the loss of four commonly used pesticides from turf environments, reducing off-site contamination. The current experiment evaluated the impact of 10 plant species on the dissipation of 4 pesticides in a greenhouse setting. Our results revealed that blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), eastern gama grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), and big blue stem (Andropogon gerardii) are excellent candidates for the optimization VFS as buffer zones abutting turf environmnents. Blue flag iris was most effective at removing the tested pesticides from soil and had the highest aesthetic value of the plants tested. Such characteristics should allow implementation of VFS strips that include blue flag iris to proceed with minimal opposition.

Technical Abstract: Runoff from turf environments, such as golf courses, is of increasing concern due to the associated chemical contamination of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and groundwater. Pesticide runoff due to fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides used to maintain the golf courses in acceptable playing condition is a particular concern. Maintaining the quality of turf expected by millions of golfers, homeowners, and the general public while also protecting of the nation’s waterways would be the ideal situation. One possible approach to achieve this balance is through the implementation of effective Vegetative Filter Strips (VFS) on golf courses and other recreational turf environments. The objective of the current study was to screen ten plant species for their ability to reduce the loss of four commonly used pesticides from turf environments, reducing off-site contamination. The current experiment evaluated the impact of 10 plant species on the dissipation of 4 pesticides in a greenhouse setting. Our results revealed that blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), eastern gama grass (Tripsacum dactyloides), and big blue stem (Andropogon gerardii) are excellent candidates for the optimization VFS as buffer zones abutting turf environmnents. Blue flag iris was most effective at removing the tested pesticides from soil and had the highest aesthetic value of the plants tested. Such characteristics should allow implementation of VFS strips that include blue flag iris to proceed with minimal opposition.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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