The Disturbance Theory 10 Years On

This one day workshop will look at all aspects of the Disturbance Theory from its scientific principles based upon Comparative Plant Ecology and how different plants and grasses have adapted their growth strategies to take advantage of a particular environmental niche.

Ten years after its initial release, the reasons for and factors behind relaunching the Theory will be discussed. This will include climate change, tighter pesticide regulation and water use, combined with the demand for more sustainable and superior playing surfaces.

The different growth strategies of the major turfgrasses will be described; how greenkeeping operations can impact on the species composition of the sward and how an understanding of these can help manipulate sward species composition towards your desired sward blend.

The practical implication of the Theory will be described following the Four Phased approach and STRI Programme data, accumulated over the last eight to nine years. It will be integrated into the discussion to illustrate how data can be used to inform decision making regarding refinement inputs and the general management of putting surfaces in a Disturbance Theory way.

Learning Outcomes:

• Understand the principles of comparative plant ecology

• Provide knowledge of the Disturbance Theory

• How the Disturbance Theory can help achieve your sward composition goals

• The threats to golf course management

• How the Disturbance Theory has changed over the past 10 years

• Examples of how it has been implemented

Presented by Conor Nolan, Senior Agronomist and Paul Woodham, Agronomy Services Manager, STRI Group

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