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Articles by H.A. Torbert
Total Records ( 3 ) for H.A. Torbert
  K.E. Smith , G.B. Runion , S.A. Prior , A.J. Price , H.H. Rogers and H.A. Torbert
  Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense Lour.) is an invasive plant currently threatening ecosystems in the southeastern United States and along its eastern seaboard. Control of this weed has generally been most effective if caught early enough to pull or dig out seedlings, meaning that effective control is accomplished with young or immature plants. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on the growth of Chinese privet. Chinese privet, produced from seed, were grown at either 375 µmol mol-1 (ambient) or 575 µmol mol-1 (elevated) CO2 in open top field chambers. Chinese privet seedlings grown under high CO2 had greater numbers of branches and tended to have larger diameters and greater total root length. Increases in component part dry weights under elevated CO2 resulted in significantly greater total plant biomass (42%). Root dry weight was significantly greater under CO2 enriched conditions (44%); however, CO2 did not affect root to shoot ratio nor allocation of biomass among plant organs. These finding indicate that Chinese privet will become a more troublesome weed as atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise and suggests that early control may become an even more important issue.
  G.B. Runion , A.J. Price , S.A. Prior , H.H. Rogers , H.A. Torbert and D.H. Gjerstad
  Invasive plants are a major threat to the earth’s biodiversity and cost U.S. producers $34 billion annually. Understanding how increased atmospheric CO2 may alter establishment, spread and control of invasive weeds is crucial to future management strategies. Here we report on the effects of elevated CO2 on growth of 2 invasive weeds important to Southeastern U.S. agriculture. Sicklepod (Cassia obtusifolia L.; C3 legume) and Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.; C4 grass) were grown at either 375 µmol mol-1 (ambient) or 575 µmol mol-1 (elevated) CO2 in open top field chambers. Photosynthesis, morphology and biomass were assessed. Growth in elevated CO2 increased photosynthetic rate and water use efficiency for both species. While both species increased leaf and stem dry weights when grown under elevated CO2, the sicklepod tended to be more responsive than was Johnsongrass. Both plants tended to partition less total dry weight to reproductive structures when grown under high CO2. This study suggests that while both weeds are likely to increase in importance, sicklepod may be more of a problem than Johnsongrass in a future CO2-enriched world; this prediction may change if reproductive success is negatively impacted by elevated CO2 and this potential deserves further investigation.
  C.C. Mitchell , H.A. Torbert , T.S. Kornecki and T.W. Tyson
  Transportation and storage of poultry broiler litter during the winter months is critical to implementing comprehensive nutrient/waste management plans, but acceptable temporary storage near the site of spreading can be difficult to arrange. Alternative, less expensive methods for temporary storage are needed to encourage more use of poultry litter on cropland, but these methods must be environmentally sound. Two separate studies were initiated to examine alternative methods of litter storage. Treatments included: No litter, litter covered with 6-mil polyethylene plastic, litter covered with commercially available HayGard® fabric, an uncovered pile, an uncovered, cone-shaped pile and an uncovered pile treated with a Polyacrylamide (PAM) to prevent water infiltration. Factors studied included litter quality and nutrient runoff. In both studies, the uncovered piles absorbed rainfall but also dried out on the surface rather rapidly in the spring. They also resulted in much higher runoff of ammonium-N, both total and soluble P and all other measured runoff parameters. Covered litter was wet on the surface from condensation under the cover, but generally resulted in less runoff of nutrients and maintained its fertilizer nutrient concentration. Exposed litter rapidly decomposed due to the wetting and drying effect. All litter apparently lost some mass although this was observed and not measured. Results indicate that dry broiler litter must be covered in order to protect litter quality and to prevent extensive nutrient runoff.
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