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Landscape Water Conservation Research at USU
Spring Runoff Conference
  • Roger Kjelgren
  • Paul Johnson
  • Kelly Kopp
Location
Space Dynamics Laboratory
Event Website
http://water.usu.edu/htm/conference/past-spring-runoff-conferences
Start Date
25-3-2004 1:20 PM
End Date
25-3-2004 1:40 PM
Description
Water conservation in irrigated urban landscapes is becoming ever more important in meeting future water demand in Utah and the Mountain West driven by population growth. Existing urban landscapes consist of turfgrass, and trees, shrubs, and perennial wildflowers that almost always need supplemental water, and in practice typically receive 25-50% more water than is actually needed. Our program conducts research on ways to improve efficiency in existing landscapes and on the use of alternative lower water use plants in new landscapes. Specifically, we are investigating minimum water requirements and recovery from drought of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and water use and tolerance to drought stress by two shade tree species (Morus alba and Liquidambar styraciflua) representing divergent water use strategies. We are also investigating alternative turf, woody, and wildflower species for use in low water use landscapes. This work includes breeding drought tolerant grass species, buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) and bentgrass (Agrostis spp.), for cultivars suitable for the Mountain West. It also includes the comparison of previously undeveloped Mountain West native grass species to conventional species in terms of drought tolerance and appearance. Finally, we are investigating the production and use of Mountain West native trees, shrub, and perennial wildflowers for use in highly adapted low water use landscapes. Studies include using alternative nursery production methods suitable to temperature extremes of the Mountain West, and creation of landscape-level lysimeters to compare water use and minimum water requirements of native-plant and conventional exotic-plant landscapes. Water conservation in irrigated urban landscapes is becoming ever more important in meeting future water demand in Utah and the Mountain West and is being driven by population growth. Existing urban landscapes consist of turfgrass, and trees, shrubs, and perennial wildflowers that almost always need supplemental water, and in practice typically receive 25-50% more water than is actually required. Our program conducts research on ways to improve water use efficiency in existing landscapes and the use of alternative lower water use plants in new landscapes. Specifically, we are investigating minimum water requirements and recovery from drought of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and water use and tolerance to drought stress by two shade tree species (Morus alba and Liquidambar styraciflua) representing divergent water use strategies. We are also investigating alternative turf, woody, and wildflower species for use in low water use landscapes, including breeding drought tolerant grass species, buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) and bentgrass (Agrostis spp.), for cultivars suitable for the Mountain West. Our research also includes the comparison of previously undeveloped Mountain West native grass species to conventional species in terms of drought tolerance and appearance. Finally, we are investigating the production and use of Mountain West native trees, shrub, and perennial wild flowers for use in highly adapted low water use landscapes. Studies include using alternative nursery production methods suitable to the temperature extremes of the Mountain West, and the creation of landscape-level lysimeters to compare water use and minimum water requirements of native-plant and conventional exotic-plant landscapes.
Citation Information
Roger Kjelgren, Paul Johnson and Kelly Kopp. "Landscape Water Conservation Research at USU" (2004)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kelly_kopp/44/