Irrigation Science

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 5–15 | Cite as

Bahiagrass crop coefficients from eddy correlation measurements in central Florida

  • Xinhua JiaEmail author
  • Michael D. Dukes
  • Jennifer M. Jacobs
Original Paper


Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) is a warm-season grass used primarily in pastures and along highways and other low maintenance public areas in Florida. It is also used in landscapes to some extent because of its drought tolerance. Bahiagrass can survive under a range of moisture conditions from no irrigation to very wet conditions. Its well-watered consumptive use has not been reported previously. In this study, bahiagrass crop coefficients (K c) for an irrigated pasture were determined for July 2003 through December 2006 in central Florida. The eddy correlation method was used to estimate crop evapotranspiration (ETc) rates. The standardized reference evapotranspiration (ETo) equation (ASCE-EWRI standardization of reference evapotranspiration task committee report, 2005) was applied to calculate ETo values using on site weather data. Daily K c values were estimated from the ratio of the measured ETc and the calculated ETo. The recommended K c values for bahiagrass are 0.35 for January–February, 0.55 for March, 0.80 for April, 0.90 for May, 0.75 for June, 0.70 for July–August, 0.75 for September, 0.70 for October, 0.60 for November, and 0.45 for December in central Florida. The highest K c value of 0.9 in May corresponded with maximum vapor pressure deficit conditions as well as cloud free conditions and the highest incoming solar radiation as compared to the rest of the year. During the summer (June to August), frequent precipitation events increased the cloud cover and reduced grass water use. The K c annual trend was similar to estimated K c values from another well-watered warm-season grass study in Florida.


Latent Heat Flux Vapor Pressure Deficit Heat Flux Reference Evapotranspiration Crop Coefficient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully wish to acknowledge Mr. John Fitzgerald and the St. Johns River Water Management District and the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station for support of the project; Mr. Aniruddha Guha, Mr. George W. Triebel, Dr. Suat Irmak, Mr. James Boyer, Mr. Danny Burch, Mr. Larry Miller, and Mr. Steve Feagle for assistance with the research activities.


  1. Allen RG, Periera LS, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration: guidelines for computing crop requirements. Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 56. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  2. ASCE (1996) Hydrology handbook. ASCE Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 28. ASCE, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. ASCE-EWRI (2005) The ASCE Standardized reference evapotranspiration equation. ASCE-EWRI Standardization of Reference Evapotranspiration Task Committee Report. ASCEGoogle Scholar
  4. Baldocchi DD, Hicks BB, Meyers TP (1988) Measuring biosphere–atmosphere exchanges of biologically related gases with micrometeorological methods. Ecology 69(5):1331–1340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beard JB (1973) Turfgrass science and culture. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown PT, Mancino CF, Young MH, Thompson TL, Wierenga PJ, Kopec DM (2001) Penman–Monteith crop coefficients for use with desert turf systems. Crop Sci 41:1197–1206Google Scholar
  7. Doorenbos J, Pruitt WO (1977) Guidelines for predicting crop water requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper No. 24, 2nd edn. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. Duble RL (2006) Water management on turfgrasses. Available on line: Accessed 21 Nov 2006
  9. Dukes MD (2006) Effect of wind speed and pressure on linear move irrigation system uniformity. Appl Eng Agricul 22(4):541–548Google Scholar
  10. Ervin EH, Koski AJ (1998) Drought avoidance aspects and crop coefficients of Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue turfs in the semiarid west. Crop Sci 38:788–795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farahani HJ, Howell TA, Shuttleworth WJ, Bausch WC (2007) Evapotranspiration: progress in measurement and modeling in agriculture. Trans ASABE 50(5):1627–1638Google Scholar
  12. Gee GW, Or D (2002) Particle-size analysis. In: Dane JH, Topp GC (eds) Methods of Soil Analysis, Part 4–Physical Methods. Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, WisconsinGoogle Scholar
  13. Gholz HL, Clark KL (2002) Energy exchange across a chronosequence of slash pine forests in Florida. Agric Forest Meteorol 112(2):87–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibeault VA, Cocker-ham S, Henry JM, Meyer J (1989) California Turfgrass: it’s use, water requirement and irrigation. California Turfgrass culture 39(3–4). Cooperative extension, University of CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  15. Grossman RB, Reinsch TG (2002) Bulk density and linear extensibility. In: Dane JH, Topp GC (eds) Methods of soil analysis, part 4–physical methods. Soil Science Society of America, Inc., Madison, WisconsinGoogle Scholar
  16. Haley MB, Dukes MD, Miller GL (2007) Residential irrigation water use in Central Florida. ASCE J Irrig and Drain Engrg 133(5):427–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Horst T (2003) Corrections to sensible and latent heat flux measurements. Accessed 28 July 2008
  18. Itenfisu D, Elliott RL, Allen RG, Walter IA (2003) Comparison of reference evapotranspiration calculations as part of the ASCE standardization effort. ASCE J Irrig Drain Engrg 129(6):440–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jacobs JM, Dukes MD (2008) Revision of AFSIRS crop water simulation model, summary. Special Publication SJ2008-SP19, St. Johns River Water Management District, Palatka, Florida, p 378. Accessed 13 Aug 2008
  20. Jensen ME, Burman RD, Allen RG (1990) Evapotranspiration and irrigation water requirements: ASCE Manual No. 70, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Jia X (2000) Temperature adjustment for reference evapotranspiration calculations in central Arizona. M.S. Thesis. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZGoogle Scholar
  22. Jia X, Dukes MD, Jacobs JM, Irmak S (2006) Weighing lysimeters for evapotranspiration research in a humid environment. Trans ASAE 49(2):401–412Google Scholar
  23. Jia X, Swancar A, Jacobs JM, Dukes MD, Morgan K (2007) Comparison of evapotranspiration rates for flatwoods and ridge citrus. Trans ASABE 50(1):83–94Google Scholar
  24. Li S, Kang S, Li F, Zhang L, Zhang B (2008) Vineyar d evaporative fraction based on eddy covariance in an arid desert region of Northwest China. Agric Water Management 95:937–948CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mayer PW, DeOreo WB, Opitz EM, Kiefer JC, Davis WY, Dziegielewski B, Nelson JO (1999) Residential end uses of water. American Water Works Association Research Foundation, Denver, COGoogle Scholar
  26. Meyer JL, Gibeault VA, Youngner VB (1985) Irrigation of turfgrass below replacement of evapotranspiration as a means of water conservation: determining crop coefficient of turfgrasses. In: F. Lemaire (ed.) Proceedings of the fifth international turfgrass research conference, Avignon, France, pp 357–364Google Scholar
  27. Meyers TP, Baldocchi DD (2005) Current micrometeorological flux methodologies with applications in agriculture. In: Hatfield JL (ed) Micrometeorological measurements in agricultural systems. Am Agronom Soc, pp 381–396Google Scholar
  28. Morris K (2003) National turfgrass research initiative. National Turfgrass Federation, Inc., and National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, Beltsville, 7 pGoogle Scholar
  29. Pauwels VRN, Samson R (2006) Comparison of different methods to measure and model actual evapotranspiration rates for a wet sloping grassland. Agric Water Manage 82:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Paw UKT, Baldocchi DD, Meyers TP, Wilson KB (2000) Correction of eddy covariance measurements incorporating both advective effects and density fluxes. Boundary- Layer Meteorol 97:487–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Priestley CHB, Taylor RJ (1972) On the assessment of surface heat flux and evaporation using large-scale parameters. Monthly Weather Rev 100:81–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Purdum ED (2002) Florida waters: a water resources manual from Florida’s water management districts. Southwest Florida Water Management District, BrooksvilleGoogle Scholar
  33. Schotanus P, Nieuwstadt FTM, de Bruin HAR (1983) Temperature measurement with a sonic anemometer and its application to heat and moisture fluxes. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 50:81–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Stewart EH, Mills WC (1967) Effect of depth to water table and plant density on evapotranspiration rate in southern Florida. Trans ASAE 10(6):746–747Google Scholar
  35. Stewart EH, Browning JE, Burt EO (1969) Evapotranspiration as affected by plant density and water-table depth. Trans ASAE 12(5):646–647Google Scholar
  36. Summer DM, Jacobs JM (2005) Utility of Penman–Monteith, Priestley-Taylor, reference evapotranspiration, and pan evaporation methods to estimate past evapotranspiration. J Hydrol 308:81–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sumner DM (1996) Evapotranspiration from successional vegetation in a deforested area of the Lake Wales Ridge, Florida. US. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 96-4244, 38 pGoogle Scholar
  38. Sumner DM (2001) Evapotranspiration from a cypress and pine forest subjected to natural fires in Volusia County, Florida, 1998-99. USGS Water Resources Investigations report 01-4245Google Scholar
  39. Tanner BD, Greene JP (1989) Measurement of sensible heat and water vapor fluxes using eddy correlation methods. Final report prepared for US Army Dugway Proving Grounds, Dugway, Utah, 17 pGoogle Scholar
  40. Thomas BP, Law L, Stankey DL (1979) Soil survey of Marion County, Florida. USDA Soil Conservation Service. US Govt. Printing Office, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  41. Trenholm LE, Cisar JL, Unruh JB (2003) Bahiagrass for Florida lawns. Fact Sheet ENH6Google Scholar
  42. Twine TE, Kustas WP, Norman JM, Cook DR, Houser PR, Meyers TP, Prueger JH, Starks PJ, Wesely ML (2000) Correcting eddy-covariance flux underestimates over a grassland. Agric For Meteorol 103:279–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. USDC (2007) National climate data center. Accessed 12 Oct 2007
  44. Webb EK, Pearman GI, Leuning R (1980) Correlation of flux measurements for density effects due to heat and water vapour transfer. Quart J Royal Meteorolog Soc 106:85–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wilson KB, Goldstein AH, Falge F (2002) Energy balance closure at FLUXNET sites. Agric Forest Meteorol 113:223–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Zhang X, Hu L, Bian X, Zhao B, Chai F, Sun X (2007) The most economical irrigation amount and evapotranspiration of the turfgrasses in Beijing City, China. Agric Water Manage 89:98–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinhua Jia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael D. Dukes
    • 2
  • Jennifer M. Jacobs
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Biosystems EngineeringNorth Dakota State UniversityFargoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural and Biological EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations