Management Of Blue-green Algae On Putting Greens

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Plots with better turfgrass quality were treated preventatively with either mancozeb (Dithane T/O or Fore) orchlorothalnil (daconil 2787) fungicides at 14-day intervals.Management of blue-green algaeon putting greensM O N I C A E L L I O T T A N D M A R C U S PREVATTEUNIVERSITY OF FLORIDAFORT LAUDERDALE RESEARCH A N D EDUCATION CENTERThe two most common types of terrestrial algae are greenalgae, often called true algae, and blue-green algae. The latter areactually a type ofbacteria and are also referred to as cyanobacteria.In general, the blue-green algae appear to be the predominantspecies associated with bermudagrass putting greens and tees inthe southeastern U.S. A preliminary survey of putting greens insouth Florida demonstrated that the dominant blue-green algaespecies were Oscillatoria, Lyngbya, and Nostoc. This was alsofound to be true on bermudagrass greens in Mississippi (Maddoxand Krans, 1991). In general, the algal species associated withaquatic environments, such as lakes and waterways on the golfcourse, are not the same species associated with the greens andtees.There are two types of algal problems on putting greens andtees, surface algae and the "black layer" phenomenom. "Blacklayer" is a more complex problem that includes not only bluegreen algae but also sulfur- reducing bacteria and specific anaerobic soil conditions created in the soil. The controls for blacklayer are quite different from controls for the algal slime orcrusts observed on bermudagrass putting greens surfaces. Theresearch discussed below was conducted on surface algae as thatappears to be the primary problem observed in Florida.Algae are not plant pathogens. They do not infect (penetrate)the turfgrass plant and cause a disease. If the algae populationincreases significantly, they will "slime" the turf and create thinto thick crusts on the soil surface, but they have not physicallyattacked the turfgrass. While it is possible that blue-green algaeproduce toxins which may inhibit turfgrass growth, this has notbeen proven to date. In most cases, it appears that the algal crustsare simply preventing the bermudagrass from physically growing into this area.Why do blue-green algae "bloom" on putting greens? Because we (Mother Nature and humans) provide them with theperfect environment. By mowing the putting greens extremelyshort, especially in the summer months, the soil where the algaelive all year is exposed to sunlight. Add in excessive rainfall orirrigation, frequent nitrogen applications and a high soil surfacepH and an ideal breeding spot for blue-green algae is created.You must determine the cause of the algal problem beforeyou attempt to fix it. The cultural controls are fairly obvious dry out the soil surface, break up the algal crusts and altermanagement or environmental factors which are conducive foralgae development. A shady area that never dries out is a perfectplace for algae. Document the problem with pictures and factsto convince the management or membership that the landscapeneeds to be altered.The weather cannot be controlled, but it is possible to alterirrigation practices that may be contributing to the problem.The algal crusts can be broken by spiking, verticutting, aerifying,hand-raking or any other method that physically disturbs thecrusts. Drying out the soil surface can be difficult, especiallyduring a summer with above normal rainfall. Light topdressings

Research Table 1.Fungicide use to control blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), before the algae develop (preventatively) and after they develop (curatively) on theFGCSA bermudagrass putting green at the Fort Lauderdale R.E.CTreatment/Formulation*Rate per1000 sq ftSprayInterval*1993 Quality Scores'CurativePreventative1994 Quality Scores'CurativePreventativeDaconil 278790% WDG3.5 oz14 days5.9 be5.2 b5.5 a3.2 bDaconil 278790% WDG3.5 oz28 days5.3 dNT4.4 cNTDaconil 278790% WDG6.5 oz14 days6.5 a5.5 ab5.5 a3.8 aDaconil 278790% WDG6.5 oz28 days5.6 cdNT4.6 beDithane T/O75% DF6.0 oz14 days6.6 a6.0 a5.5 a3.6 abDithane T/O75% DF6.0 oz28 days6.1 bNT4.9 bNTNTDithane CS-7 75% DF6.0 oz14 days6.5 a5.8 abNTNTDithane CS-7 75% DF6.0 oz28 days6.5 aNTNTNTDithane M-4580% WP6.0 oz14 daysNTNT5.5 a3.6 abFore80% WP6.0 oz14 daysNTNT5.5 a3.5 abAlgaen-X20% L4.2 fl oz14 days4.3 eNT3.9 dNTAlgaen-X20% L12.5 fl oz14 days3.9 fNTNTNT4.3 ef4.1 c3.9 dControl2.6 c"Daconil 2787: ISK Biosciences chlorothalonil; Dithane T/O, Dithane M-45, Fore: Rohm & Haas formulations of mancozebAlgaen-X: Scotts(Grace-Sierra) quaternary ammonium salts; CS-7 is a spreader-binder surfactant that was added at the recommended rate of 1 pint per 100gallons of fungicide solution.Preventative applications were made on 14 day and 28 day intervals and were initiated before algae had developed. Curative applications,applications made after the blue-green algae were already present, were made on 14-day intervals only.'Quality scores are based on color and density using a scale of 1 to 10 (best quality). Values are means of four replicate plots for nine (1993) or10 (1994) rating dates. Means in the same column followed by the same letter were not significantly different (P 0.05) according to WallerDuncan k-ratio t-test.NT not tested.of root-zone mix will help absorb someof the moisture and will physically maskthe problem areas. However, during therainy season, it may require more thancultural controls to prevent a blue-greenalgae problem.While some superintendents haveused a dilute bleach solution (ex: Chlorox)for algal control, the product does nothave a legal turf site pesticide label. Certain fertilizer materials, copper sulfateand hydrated lime, have been recommended for algal control. Copper sulfatehas a tendency to burn closely mowedturfgrass - especially if the wrong formulation is used. Hydrated lime is effectivein initially dessicating (drying out) thealgal layer, but it also helps to create anideal environment for blue-green algaebecause it increases the soil surface pH. Ifthe root rot disease Bermudagrass Decline is active, the hydrated lime will increase disease activity as this fungus prefers the high soil pH also.In 1991 when preliminary studies onblue-green algal control were initiated,the only legal chemical control for algaewas the fungicide mancozeb (ex: Rohm8c Haas Fore, D u P o n t Manzate 200,LESCO 4 Flowable Mancozeb). Whilethere is nothing wrong with having onlyone chemical for control of an organism,it makes plant pathologists like myselfvery nervous since this would be an idealsituation for chemical resistance to develop within a population. There wasalso some concern at that time that thisfungicide chemical group would be removed from the market. That would haveleft the golf course community without alegal chemical control product. This wasthe motivation for initiating this researchproject.The two most likely fungicide candidates for algal control at that time wereanilazine (ex: Dyrene) and chlorothalonil(ex: Daconil 2787) because these products had been or were still being used inp a i n t s f o r i n h i b i t i n g algal g r o w t h .Anilazine was not included in the studysince it was not expected to be manufactured, and so available for use, in thenear future. Quaternary ammonium salts(e.g. Algaen-X) were evaluated beginning in 1993.Materials and methodsThe experimental site for the chemical trials in 1991-1994 was the FGCSAResearch Green located at the Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center.The 'Tifdwarf was cut 6 days a week at 3/16 inch. During the summer cycle (Maythrough October), the green was fertilized with 1/2 lb. nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft.every two weeks using a slow releasefertilizer source. No other chemical pesticides were applied as a broadcast treatment. If necessary, Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt formulated as DiPel) was used tocontrol sod webworms, and spot applications of Dursban insecticidal bait wereused for mole cricket control.To increase algal development, theexperimental site was irrigated twice each

Over the four-year period, various fungicide treatments were (10 AM and 4 PM) for 7 minutes,even on days when it rained. No culturalcontrols were utilized in these studies, sothe area was not verticut, aerified ortopdressed during the study periods (JulyOctober) each year. This method wasutilized to insure that the fungicides werebeing evaluated under moderate to severe environmental conditions for algald e v e l o p m e n t . In o t h e r words, asuperintendent's worst nightmare cometrue!Over the four-year period, variousfungicide treatments were examined butDithane (75% mancozeb DF; the labeledrate) and Daconil 2787 (90%chlorothalonil WDG; two rates) were always examined each year as preventativetreatments applied at 14 day intervals. Inother words, after the first application offungicides was made, the twice daily irrigation cycles were initiated. In 1993 and1994, these fungicides were also examined as: (a) preventative treatments applied at 28 day intervals, and (b) curativetreatments applied at 14 day intervals inwhich the fungicides were not applieduntil the algal population had increasedsubstantially. Other treatments duringthe four year period included quaternaryammonium salts (ex: Algaen-X), maneb,Dithane (mancozeb) with a surfactant,and three different formulations ofmancozeb.The fungicides were applied in 3-5gallons water per 1000 sq. ft. using abackpack C 0 2 sprayer and boom with 40psi pressure at the handle and stainlesssteel 8002 Tee Jet nozzles. Deionized water was used to eliminate any interactiondue to water source, especially pH effects.The 3 gallon rate was used for all fungicide treatments except the Algaen-Xwhich was applied in 5 gallons water according to the label and information supplied by the company (Grace-Sierra) in1993. Each plot was 25 sq. ft., and eachtreatment was replicated four times.Results and discussionThe rate at which the algae developeddiffered between years, primarily due tothe precipitation received during eachstudy period. Plots were rated for quality(color and density) and amount of algaepresent in each plot. Only quality scoresare presented as they are the most accurate assessment of fungicide effect sincesome products were phytotoxic. The areaused for this experiment was of limitedsize, so it was impossible to use everytreatment every year. Results for 1993and 1994 are presented in Table 1. During July through September, the FLRECreceived 25 inches of rain in 1993 and 39inches of rain in 1994. Except for DithaneM-45, only data for products with legalturf site labels are presented. One note oninterpreting the table, values in a singlecolumn followed by the same letter areNOT statistically different.Prevention or reduction in algal development was consistently observedwhen chlorothalonil (both rates) andmancozeb (the labeled rate) were appliedat 14 day intervals AND treatments wereinitiated at the time the environmentalpressure for algal development increasedulli\/anlectric & Pump, Inc.(407)588-5886DESlkïîiW.'ESrCOURSE AND CONLL TYPES OF GOLFKSTEMS.FULLY STOCKED WARÉHOlYOUR IRRIGATION NEEDS.PMENT TO MEET SYNG OTTERBINE AERATC EPS LANDSCAPE PUMP STATIONS. EPS HYDRAULIC PUMP STATIONS.FULLY EQUIPPED, RADIO DISPATCHED \EMERGENCY SERVICE.3E 24 HOUR CLAYTON VALVES & PARTS.COMPLETE CRANE SERVICE. WESSELS HYDROPNEUMATIC TANKS.INHOUSE PUMP REPAIR FACILITY. SELF CLEANING INTAKE SCREENS.MOTOR REPAIR AND REWIND FACILITY. THOMPSON LIGHTNING PROTECTION EQUIPlVPREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS.TOTAL LIGHTNING PROTECTION AND INTERFACE SVINSTALLER.QISTED VERTICAL TURBINE PUMPS. CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS.UNDER WATER WETWELL AND INTAKE CLEANING ANDLICENSED & INSURED ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS WESCO FOUNTAINS.AIR. REPLACEMENT MOTORS. CUSTOM CONTROL PANELS, ETL LISTED"Servicing South Florida"

Prevention or reduction of algal growthpossible with timed application of fungicide.(i.e., initiation of twice daily irrigation).In both years, these treatments were significantly better than the control treatment (no fungicides). The use of a surfactant with mancozeb and the differentmancozeb formulations did not increaseor decrease its overall effectiveness.When these products were used at 28day application intervals, the fungicidetreatments still provided better qualitythan the control but usually had significantly less quality compared to the 14 dayapplication treatments. As can be seen inthe graph, the turfgrass quality wouldincrease after a fungicide application andthen slowly decrease over the 28 day period. With the 14 day application interval, the quality was more uniform overtime.When the fungicide applications wereinitiated after algae had developed (curative treatments), the quality of the treatedplots was still better than the control butdid not equal the preventative fungicidetreatments. This was especially evident in1994 when the environmental conditionswere quite conducive for algal growth.T h e 9 0 % W D G f o r m u l a t i o n ofDaconil 2787 was utilized throughoutthe four year period for consistency during the overall study. When you are working with small plots, dry formulations aremuch easier to measure than flowablematerials. This formulation has since beenreplaced with an 82.5% SDG formulation. Check the Daconil 2787 labels forthe current legal use rates.Mancozeb fungicides are one of thevery few fungicides that have a label stating that use of a surfactant may increaseefficacy. There did not appear to be astrong advantage in this particular study.Daconil 2787 should not be mixed with asurfactant as one is already part of theformulation. A m i n i m u m of 2 gallonswater per 1000 sq. ft. should be used tomix all fungicides. (Yes, the labels dostate this!!) I used 3 gallons in this studybecause I wanted to be sure the fungicides came in contact with the algae. Re-(305) 581-0444SPREAD-RITE, INC.CUSTOM SPREADINGFERTILIZER DOLOMITE ARAGONITETESTINGL A M A R SAPP Soils Water Physical Tissue Environmental6001 S.W. 19th STREETPLANTATION, FL 33317MOBILE: (407) 479-9417Tom BurrowsYOUR ' ONE-STOP" SOURCECertified AgronomistTurfgrass Specialistvmember, you want to stop algal growth.The algae are not growing on the leafsurface but on the soil surface!Different m a n c o z e b f o r m u l a t i o n swere evaluated as some superintendentsbelieved they observed better efficacy withmancozeb formulations containing theblue dye. Dithane T/O and Dithane M45 (which is not labeled for turf) do notcontain the blue dye that Fore contains.Dithane M-45 was used because its formulation is more similar to Fore thanDithane T/O. No differences were observed between these formulations.There has been some concern aboutusing mancozeb products, which contain zinc, due to soil test reports thatindicate the soil contains an "excessuve"amount of zinc. The word "excessive" ismisleading. Usually, soil zinc levels over20-60 mg/kg soil are considered excessive, especially when you consider thatturf normally only needs a few mg tosatisfy its nutritional requirements. However, turfgrasses can tolerate much highersoil zinc levels. A study by Spear andChristians (1991) on bentgrass demonstrated that even at zinc soil levels of4000mg/kg, there was no consistent plant damage. I am not aware of any reports of zinctoxicity of bermudagrasses used on golfcourses.Quaternary a m m o n i u m salts for useon turfgrass sites are sold under the tradenames Algaen-X and Consan Triple Action 20. There has been considerable confusion regarding the appropriate use ofthese products, primarily because the label itself is confusing and informationprovided by one company was inconsistent with the label. In 1993, two ratesHIGHLIGHT GOLF HOLES,IMPROVE VISIBILITY,& MAINTAIN CONSISTENCYFOR AMERICA'S LEADINGGOLF SURFACES & SUPPLIES!yPhone: 407-692-12211741 San Souci, Stuart, FL 34994CGCSGolf Course Supt. - 29 yearsFGCSA Past PresidentPenn State - 1960Musser Infl Turf Foundation - VPPARTACGOLF COURSETOP-DRESSINGrnmmmmfstm*HEAT TREATEDPLUS CONSTRUCTION,CART PATH, SAND TRAP,A N D DIVOT REPAIR MIXESTYRARCEOTEXTILES & TURF BLANKETSSOIL CONDITIONERHtylPARTAC HftyGREEN SANDU.S. G O L F H O L ETARGETSDIVOT REPAIR MIXA UNIQUE SOLUTION TO UNSIGHTLY DIVOTS!PARTAC* GREEN SAND BLENDEDWITH PARTAC* PREMIUMTOP-DRESSING FOR EXCELLENTGERMINATION A N DDEEP GREEN COLOR!THE BEST DIVOT REPAIR MIX AVAILABLE!AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE800-247-2326I N N.J. 908-637-4191P A R T A C PEAT C O R P O R A T I O NKELSEY PARK, GREAT MEADOWS, NJ. 07838ORLANDO (FL) MEMPHIS (TN) RENO (NV)Drainage SystemsFLEXIBLE GOLF COURSE MARKERSSAND TRAP PUMPSRAKES, PLUG PUSHERS, SQUEEGEESAND MANY MOREGOLF SPECIALTY PRODUCTS

were used in the minimum amount ofwater permissable by the label - 5 gallonsper 1000 sq. ft.The high rate was distinctlyphyototoxic to the bermudagrass. Thelow rate also caused some phytotoxicitybut was not consistent in this characteristic. The product did not prevent thedevelopment of blue-green algae. Thiswas not expected as it is strictly a curativeproduct. However, even after the bluegreen algae developed, there was no observable algal control in either 1993 or1994.SummaryPrevention of blue-green algae with fungicide treatments. Mancozeb fungicide(left) vs. control with no fungicide (right).1. Both chlorothalonil and mancozebwere effective for controlling bluegreen algae on bermudagrass putting greens.2. The chlorothalonil rate required forcontrol will depend on the level ofalgae present and environmentalconditions.We understandthe importance ofa good mix.That's why it's important that you get to know Atlantic FEC. Becausewe provide a variety of specialty mixes and related products specificallyformulated for the South Florida turfgrass industry.Each turfgrass mix is delivered by Spyder equipped trucks inwater-resistant paper or plastic bags. Bulk material is available ineither normal size Killebrews or "small door" (24") Killebrewsto accommodate your turf spreader. Drop trailers, sulfur coatedpotash, and new Micro Prill Greenskote, a quality puttinggreen blend, also availableCall us toll free at 1-800-432-3413 or visit us at18375 S.W. 260th Street in Homestead to find out how youcan benefit from quality mix from the Atlantic FECturfgrass professionals.Atlantic FECBetter Mixes Since 1923.

WHEELTRONIC"The Most VersatileService LiftAvailable In TheTurf Industry"Wheeltronic's "VGL"Multipurpose Above GroundLifts Were Specifically DesignedTo Provide Flexibility WhenServicing Turf Equipment,Golf Carts And Road Vehicles.I l lNo Other Lift OffersSo Many Features"Just Ask Those ThatHave Them"For More Information Call 1-800-382-6735Distributed by: Du Cor International 1011 W. Lancaster Rd., Orlando, FL 32809Tel: 407/859-4390 Fax 407/851-84303. The application intervals used forchlorothalonil and mancozeb willvary with environmental conditions. During periods of high stress,the 14-day interval will probablybe most effective.4. There were n o differences in turfgrassquality between different formulations of mancozeb or in the use ofa surfactant with mancozeb.5. Quaternary a m m o n i u m salts were noteffective under the conditions usedfor evaluation in this study. Research at Texas A&M indicatesthese products are only effectivewhen they are used as drenches.6. Initiate use of the fungicides before orshortly after a weather pattern isestablished that is conducive foralgal development. Do not waituntil there is a significant algalpopulation on the turf area tointiate treatments.7. Never, ever start a fungicide program without initiating culturalcontrol practices also! Use goodintegrated pest management strategies and safe chemical practicesfor controlling blue-green algae onthe golf course.Literature CitedALGAE ON TURFGRASSA PROBLEM?TRYTRIPLE ACTION 20E P A REGISTERED ALGAECIDEAND FUNGICIDE FOR TURFGRASS EFFECTIVE ECONOMICAL CURATIVE BIODEGRADABLEFor a F r e e S a m p l e Write or Call:PARKWAY RESEARCH CORPORATION1 -800-256-FOOT13802 Chrisman Rd.713-442-9821Houston, Texas 77039FAX 713-590-3353Maddox, V., and J. V. Krans. 1991.T h e effect of algae a n dcyanobacterium compositionand density on putting greensin Mississippi. Agron. Abstr. p.179.Spear, G. T., and N. E. Christians.1991. Creeping bentgrass response to zinc in modified soil.C o m m m u n . Soil. Sci. PlantAnal. 22:2005-2016.AcknowledgementsWe thank Dr. Carol Bourne for identification of the algae samples and information on maintaining algae in culture.We also thank those suppliers who participate in the South Florida TurfgrassExposition as the funds raised are used topay the salary of Marcus Prevatte whomaintains the FGCSA research greens.

The two most common types of terrestrial algae are green algae, often called true algae, and blue-green algae. The latter are actually a type ofbacteria and are also referred to as cyanobacteria. In general, the blue-green algae appear to be the predominant species associated with bermudagrass putting greens and tees in the southeastern U.S.

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