Carbon budgets of bermudagrass using eddy-covariance technique
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Scant attention has been given to evaluate the magnitude of net carbon balance from turf despite the fact that approximately 30% of total urban area in continental United States is dominated by turfgrasses. While most of the carbon related studies in turfgrasses are focused in cool-season grasses, this study delves into carbon balance of ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass, the most extensively used warm-season turfgrass in Georgia. Using the highly efficient eddy-covariance method, we estimated carbon budgets of a highly managed turfgrass system in a commercial sod farm for three consecutive years. Our results show that ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass is a net sink of carbon, sequestering it at the rate of 4.83 ± 0.32 Mg ha-1 yr-1. Carbon fluxes from this system showed a significant dependence on average solar radiation and air temperature, while soil moisture conditions also affected the optimum rates of photosynthesis. The turfgrass system was an efficient assimilator of C during summer and fall. Sod harvest and heavy mowing had a profound effect on carbon balance of the system while light mowing had a small temporary effect.