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The impacts of soil compaction on irrigation and drainage of golf course Zhang, Wenxiu


Soil compaction caused by heavy play is a serious problem in golf course as it affects nearly all properties and functions of soil, physical, chemical as well as biological, which in turn cerate irrigation and drainage problems and influence the healthy growth of turfgrass. However, knowledge regarding the interactive effects of play intensity and soil moisture status on irrigation, drainage and turfgrass growth is still lacking. The objectives of this study are to examine the interactive effects of play intensity and soil moisture levels on some important irrigation and drainage parameters and turfgrass growth, and to evaluate the impact of soil compaction on water quality in terms of nitrate concentration. A green house study was carried out under simulated soil compaction on golf course fairway. Three play intensity level treatments and three soil moisture level treatments were tested. The results showed that the state of soil compaction not only is largely influenced by traffic intensity, but also is closely related to soil water content. Hence control of traffic and soil moisture is equally important for minimizing soil compaction. This investigation clearly demonstrated that soil compaction significantly changes the soil hydraulic properties, the infiltration, hydraulic conductivity and drainable porosity, and has adverse effects on irrigation and drainage. Both shoot and root growth declined as a result of soil compaction. It was observed that root biomass of turfgrass was reduced by as much as 47 to 75 percent under soil compaction condition when compared to non-compaction. Soil compaction is very detrimental to root growth. The study revealed that favorable soil water content for turfgrass shoot growth depends on traffic intensity. For heavy play golf course, maintaining adequate low soil moisture is more favorable to turfgrass growth. This study found that N0₃⁻ concentration in leachate increased as a result of soil compaction. However, the detected N0₃⁻ concentration under soil compaction was still extremely low, well below the drink water requirement.

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