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Cernusco Lombardone, Italy

Lulli F.,University of Pisa | Volterrani M.,University of Pisa | Grossi N.,University of Pisa | Armeni R.,Labosport Italia Srl | And 2 more authors.
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2012

High turfgrass wear resistance and recovery are the most sought after characteristics in turfgrass species when used for sports turf, but they are also very important in home gardens and public parks. Several wear resistance investigations have been conducted in field conditions in recent years, but these investigations involved the use of machinery and techniques that are not able to segregate the plant wounding and death effects from soil compaction effects that are generally associated with turfgrass wear. The same can be said of wear recovery investigations, with an extensive use of agronomical machinery for field trials. This study focussed on the wear resistance and recovery of mature swards of Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylon × C. transvaalensis Burt-Davy cv. Tifway 419, Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr. cv. Zeon and Paspalum vaginatum Swartz. cv. Salam and a typical sports-type mix of Lolium perenne L. (cvv. Speedster 35% and Greenway 35%)+Poa pratensis L. (cvv. SR2100 15% and Greenknight 15%). The goal of this trial was to evaluate turfgrass wear resistance and recovery devoid of climatic and soil effects and thus, sward growing, wear simulation and recovery were conducted in controlled environment. Furthermore, wear simulation was conducted with FIFA-approved, numerical control machinery (Lisport). Wear resistance and recovery data was plotted against results from laboratory investigations on key tissue constituents. Zoysia matrella proved to be the most wear resistant, but the slowest in recovery, whereas the bermudagrass hybrid showed the exact opposite behaviour. Lignin and carbohydrate concentrations proved to be the two factors most closely correlated with wear resistance and recovery respectively. These two classes of compounds were present in an equilibrium that was species specific, with a frequent mutual exclusion between lignin and starch concentrations that deserves further investigation at the intra-specific level. © 2012 CSIRO. Source


Lulli F.,University of Pisa | Guglielminetti L.,University of Pisa | Grossi N.,University of Pisa | Armeni R.,Labosport Italia Srl | And 2 more authors.
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2011

The intrinsic resistance of plant tissue to several biomechanical stresses, including tensile stress, is a decisive factor in determining the wear resistance of a turfgrass species. Lignin, dry matter, starch, sugars and silica are some of the tissue constituents that have been associated with leaf and stem mechanical resistance, whereas little information is available concerning stolons and rhizomes. These organs not only enable C4 turfgrass species lateral growth, soil colonisation and injury recovery, but are also key constituents of mature swards. This study consisted in an extensive investigation on the effective leaf, stolon and rhizome tensile strength of Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. var. dactylonC. transvaalensis Burt-Davy cv. Tifway 419, Zoysia matrella (L.) Merr. cv. Zeon and Paspalum vaginatum Swartz. cv. Salam, as measured with a F́d́ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)-approved dynamometer and correlating the results with laboratory investigations on key tissue constituents. Tensile strength per unit area was influenced by both tissue constituents and tissue dimension. In rhizomes and stolons, tissue breakage usually occurred in the area at the intercalary meristem at the apical zone in the immediate proximity of a node. Older tissues had higher tensile strength owing to their higher levels of lignification. Lignin was the principal constituent determining tissue tensile strength and as such it could be used as a turfgrass wear resistance predictor in the cultivar breeding stages. Stolon total soluble sugars were generally inversely proportional to lignin content and, therefore, can also be considered clear markers of tissue mechanical strength. Silica was found to have no influence on the mechanical properties tissues. © 2011 CSIRO. Source


Lulli F.,University of Pisa | Volterrani M.,University of Pisa | Magni S.,University of Pisa | Armeni R.,Labosport Italia Srl
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology | Year: 2011

Third-generation artificial-turf pitches are often criticized because of their high abrasiveness when athletes fall on the surface,the high temperatures recorded in summer periods,and their unpleasant rubber odour.On the other hand,natural-turf pitches are not able to withstand the high play volumes currently associated with modern high-profile and community sport spitches.Hybrid systems with a varying presence of artificial fibres and rein-forcements have long been tested and installed,without providing a definitive answer to the above-mentioned problems of natural turf.The aim of this study was to evaluate the playing characteristics and the wear resistance of a newly patented hybrid natural-artificial sports pitch construction system after rugby and foot-ball play for 2 months and 5 months.This hybrid system consists of a modified third-generation artificial grass with organic infill,on which natural grass was allowed to grow.A 11300m2experimental pitch was constructed in Pisa(Italy)in the summer of 2007 and tested during 2007-2008 following football and rugby union play for an average of 8-9h/week.The hybrid pitch showed a total absence of rubber odour,summer temperatures similar to those of natural-turf pitches,wear resistance superior to that of natural-turfpitches,abrasiveness similar to that of natural-turf pitches,and good infill particle size stability.Most playing-quality parameters fell within both the Fédération Internationale de Football Association(FIFA)Recom-mended2-Star Standard requirements for artificial turf and generally accepted playing-quality parameters for natural turf.Since then more pitches as described herein have been constructed and witnessed international match play,while FIFA has classified the system as a reinforced natural-grass pitch. © Authors 2011. Source


Lulli F.,Turf Europe Srl | de Bertoldi C.,Turf Europe Srl | Armeni R.,Labosport Italia Srl | Guglielminetti L.,University of Pisa | Volterrani M.,University of Pisa
HortTechnology | Year: 2014

Synthetic sports surfaces are increasingly subject to standardization of athlete-surface and ball-surface interactions (playability parameters). Such standardizations have led to an increase in the level of the engineering and predictability of these surfaces, and as such may be beneficial also for natural turf. In warm and temperate climates, many natural turf sports surfaces are established with warm-season (C4) turfgrass species due to their suitability to the environment in such areas. This study was aimed at evaluating the Féderation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)-standard playing characteristics of different sports turf surfaces obtained from three commonly used C4 turfgrass species: 1) ‘Tifway 419’ hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon × C. transvaalensis), 2) ‘Zeon’ manilagrass (Zoysia matrella), and 3) ‘Salam’ seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) for factors concerning leaf tissue (silica, lignin, water content) and canopy structure (shoot density, leaf architecture, stolon density, etc.). Results showed that surfaces of different C4 turfgrass species generate different playability parameters, with seashore paspalum being a harder faster surface, manilagrass being a softer slower surface, and hybrid bermudagrass showing intermediate characteristics. These playing quality results were associated with certain specific canopy biometrical/morphological parameters such as shoot density, horizontal stem density (HSD), leaf section, and, to a lesser extent, to certain plant tissue compounds (lignin, silica). © 2015 American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved. Source


Lulli F.,University of Pisa | Volterrani M.,University of Pisa | Magni S.,University of Pisa | Armeni R.,Labosport Italia Srl
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2010

Third generation artificial turf pitches have long been the object of criticism due to their high abrasiveness, the high summer temperatures and their unpleasant rubber odour. On the other hand, natural turf pitches are not able to withstand the high play volumes currently associated with modern high-profile sports pitches and community sports pitches. An innovative hybrid natural-artificial sports pitch construction system was devised and tested at Pisa University. This system consists of a modified third generation artificial grass with organic infill on which natural grass is allowed to grow. In summer 2007 different natural turf establishment methods were tested on a trial area, while an 11000 m2 pilot pitch was constructed. Seeded perennial ryegrass monostand proved to be the best establishment method. The pilot pitch was tested for playing quality parameters after over 200 h of play: most of these fell within both the FIFA standard requirements for artificial turf and generally accepted playing quality parameters for natural turf. Source

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