Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Plant and Environmental Science
Belonolaimus longicaudatus Rau, (1958) (sting nematode) is a prevalent plant-parasitic nematode found in association with Cynodon spp. (bermudagrass) in South Carolina (Ye et al., 2012). Due to the persistence of the pest, long-term management strategies are necessary. Applications of biochar and compost amendments have reduced nematodes in various crop systems, but research on turfgrass systems is limited. The objectives of the studies were to determine: (1) The effect of topdressing or soil incorporated biochar amendments on sting nematode populations, and (2) The effect of topdressing or soil incorporated amendments on turf quality. A field study was established to examine topdressings including biochar + compost blend or biochar alone applied to a golf fairway over the course of two years. Two additional experiments examined incorporation of biochar, biochar + compost, and peat moss into root zones. The first examined the establishment of bermudagrass sprigs on biochar + compost or peat moss amended sand root zones compared to sand-only mediums in the greenhouse. The second examined the migration of nematodes into root zones amended with biochar + compost or peat moss in an experimental field. All studies found significant plant health benefits from topdressings or amending rootzones with biochar + compost amendments with observed improvements in turf quality and establishment. Sting nematode populations were not impacted by amendment applications in any experiment. In conclusion, the biochar + compost blend and biochar alone could be used to mitigate the symptoms of nematode damage but cannot be relied upon for reductions in nematode populations.
Thomason, Malone, "Evaluating the Effect of Biochar Soil Amendments on Belonolaimus Longicaudatus Populations Damaging Bermudagrass in South Carolina" (2023). All Theses. 4125.