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Review of Turfgrass Evapotranspiration and Crop Coefficients

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 59(1): 207-223. (doi: 10.13031/trans.59.11180) @2016
Authors:   Consuelo C. Romero, Michael D. Dukes
Keywords:   Cool-season turfgrasses, Crop coefficient, Crop evapotranspiration, Reference evapotranspiration, Warm-season turfgrasses.

Abstract. This review summarizes available data related to turfgrass evapotranspiration (ETc) and crop coefficients (Kc) for both warm-season and cool-season grasses. Daily, monthly, or seasonal ETc rates and Kc values determined at different locations in the U.S. are shown in this review, as well as the methods used to determine or estimate these values. Warm-season turfgrasses are characterized by their lower ETc rates compared to cool-season turfgrasses. Results showed that ETc is highly variable, not only between species but within same species. For example, ‘Tifway‘ bermudagrass, a warm-season turfgrass, showed ETc values of 1.78 mm d-1 in central Florida and 4.83 mm d-1 in Colorado, whereas zoysiagrass showed an ETc value of 9.40 mm d-1 in Texas. On the other hand, creeping bentgrass showed an ETc value of 3.3 mm d-1 for ‘Pennlinks‘ variety, while ‘Seaside‘ showed an ETc value of 10.7 mm d-1, both in Nebraska. This variability was affected by genotype and plant morphological characteristics but was also due to weather conditions. Variability was also observed in turfgrass Kc. Minimum and maximum monthly Kc values for cool-season grasses were estimated as 0.05 and 1.05, respectively; for warm-season grasses, monthly Kc values ranged from 0.28 to 0.99. The lowest reported Kc values within a turfgrass species could serve as selection criteria to breed new varieties resistant to drought or contributing to water savings. Evapotranspiration rates and crop coefficients should be used with awareness of the local conditions under which the values were developed.

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