Experts Exchange Information at First International Biohydrology Conference

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aquatrols The United States Turf Research Community was well represented at Biohydrology 2006, which took place in Prague, Czech Republic, September 20-22, 2006. This is the first international conference focused on the interrelationships between biological factors and soil hydrology. Scientists from a wide variety of disciplines and more than a dozen countries worldwide met to share information about the increasingly recognized role of management practices and biological changes in soil systems that are connected to water flow and transport processes in soils.

Dr. John Cisar - University of Florida, Dr. Mike Fidanza - Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Doug Karcher - University of Arkansas, Dr. Stan Kostka - Aquatrols (New Jersey), Dr. Bernd Leinauer - New Mexico State University, Dr. Sowmya Mitra, California State Polytechnic University, and Dr. Maxim Schlossberg, Pennsylvania State University, contributed presentations on various aspects of the development, assessment and amelioration of water repellency in soils - a characteristic of soils that is increasingly being recognized as a common phenomenon impacting hydrological functioning of soil systems.

Additional turf grass related presentations included understanding and managing changes in soil hydraulics from use of soil amendments - Mica Franklin, Aquatrols, prevention and curing of localized dry spots in golf greens - Oostindie et al, Alterra, Wageningen University, and the influence of vegetation on flow and transport processes - Coen J. Ritsema, Alterra, Wageningen University.

Other presentations addressed impacts of long term irrigation with effluent water, new discoveries on the hydrological impact of variability in soil physical characteristics, consideration of large scale - continental and even global - issues related to environmental impacts of land and water use, and the need for improving the availability of research information to educators and practitioners (D. Moore, Aquatrols).

Specific topics addressed by US turf scientists were as follows: Cisar et al, Factors Affecting Water Repellency in Turf; Fidanza et al, Soil chemical and physical characteristics associated with type-I fairy ring in turf grass; Franklin and Kostka - Evaluating different surfactant chemistries on an inorganic porous ceramic amended golf course green; Karcher et al University of Arkansas - Irrigation Frequency and Soil Surfactant Effects on a sand-based putting green; Kostka et al - Alkyl-capped block copolymer surfactants for root zone water management in turf grass systems; Leinauer et al New Mexico State University - Water repellency in turf grass root zones predicted from sample drying time; Mitra et al - Using wetting agents to reduce soil water repellency, increase infiltration and reduce runoff losses of irrigation water; and Schlossberg et al - Influence of amendment, irrigation frequency, and maturity/age on soil water repellency development in sand-based root systems.

The conference was organized by a number of European institutions and organizations concerned with hydrological processes in the environment. Key organizers were the Institute of Hydrodynamics of the Czech Republic, the Institute of Hydrology of Slovakia, Czech National Committee for Hydrology UNESCO, Slovak National IGBP Committee, Secondary Training Fishery College- Trebon, ALTERRA Research Institute of Wageningen University - NL, Scottish Crop Research Institute, and the University of Wales - Swansea. Joint organizers were the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, International Commission on Coupled Land-Atmosphere Systems, International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO, and the Czech Association of Scientific-Technical Societies. A dinner for conference attendees was jointly sponsored by Aquatrols and Wageningen University.

More information about the conference, including abstracts from Keynote and Volunteered papers can be viewed on the conference website:

Pictured are some of the US presenters. From left to right are Mike Fidanza (Penn State), John Cisar (Univ. Florida), Mica Franklin (Aquatrols Corp.), Bernd Leinauer (New Mexico State), Douglas Karcher (Univ. Arkansas), and Sowmya Mitra (Cal State - Pomona).
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