Turfgrass Physiology

University of Georgia crop and soil scientists are researching underlying mechanisms responsible for improved drought performance in warm-season turfgrasses. These sets of experiments are conducted across a wide range of conditions, from controlled environment growth chambers where experimental conditions can be precisely controlled, to field studies which more accurately represent the complex interactions between plant and environment. Physiological information results in a better understanding of which traits need to be better integrated into future cultivars and how to best screen for these traits. These trials have helped identify several lines developed by plant breeders at the University of Georgia that have exceptional drought performance compared to commercially available cultivars. This information will lead to improved screening and selection for drought tolerance grasses, ultimately allowing for low-input lawns to help conserve water.