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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment » Agroecosystems Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #266383

Title: Blue gamma grass and compost effects on urban soil

item Logsdon, Sally
item SAUER, PATRICIA - Iowa Association Of Municipal Utilities

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2011
Publication Date: 10/19/2011
Citation: Logsdon, S.D., Sauer, P. 2011. Blue gamma grass and compost effects on urban soil. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings [abstracts]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. Oct. 16-19, 2011, San Antonio, TX. CD-ROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Urban construction sites often have excessive erosion and compaction after topsoil removal, scraping, and grading. The purpose of this study is to determine if compaction remediation efforts are effective on a simulated urban site. The sod and topsoil were removed, the area was graded to a 1% slope, and the subsoil was compacted by trafficking. The untreated topsoil was re-applied to the control area about 5 cm deep, and compost: topsoil mixture (2:1) was applied to the improved area to 15 cm depth. A lawn mixture was planted to the control side (C-3 grasses). A mixture of buffalo grass and blue gamma grass was planted on the treatment side. Frequently, a Hydra probe was used to manually determine soil water content at ten spots for each treatment. A rainfall simulator was used to evaluate infiltration, runoff, and sediment loss. After three years, blocks of soils were sampled to examine roots and soil structure. The improved area held more water than the control area. Seasonal surface water contents showed greater soil water use in the spring and fall for the control area (C-3 grasses), and the improved area showed greater water use in the mid summer (C-4 grasses). Runoff was greater for the improved area than the control area, but sediment loss was reduced. In both control and improved areas, roots penetrated into the dense subsoil around clods or structural units, but the improved area showed more roots penetrating into the subsoil.