Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education: Reactive Nitrogen Emissions from Turfgrass

Executive Summary

The turfgrass industry is an important part of the United States economy (~$42 Billion) in general; and South East US in particular (~$8bilion) (Haydu et al., 2015). This industry is projected to grow rapidly due to strong demand for residential and commercial property development, rising affluence, and the environmental and aesthetic benefits of turfgrass in the urban landscape. However, the turf grass industry uses nitrogen based fertilizers to enhance grass growth. Use of nitrogen based fertilizers releases reactive nitrogen compounds into the atmosphere, including nitrous oxide a greenhouse gas. However, no information currently exits on the emission factors for reactive nitrogen species release into the atmosphere. This project is designed to help satisfy the great need for additional credible scientific information on gaseous emissions of reactive nitrogen compounds (NH3, NOx, and N2O) from turf grass, and to disseminate this information to both regulators and the general public. This is the only way that good decisions can be made. The proposed research will benefit turfgrass managers by assisting in optimizing fertilizer usage. Moreover, it has the potential to reduce ecological and environmental impacts associated with turfgrass management; thereby enhancing the benefits associated with the turfgrass industry.