Effects of Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizae on Survival and Growth of Perennial Grasses in Lignite Overburden in Texas

by C.A. Call and F.T. Davies

Seedlings of sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtpenduala ), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans ), and kleingrass (Panicum coloratum) were inoculated with vesicular- arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi (Glomus fasciculatum and Gigaspora margarita ) in a containerized system and transplanted into lignite overburden in the Post Oak Savannah region of Texas, U.S.A. After three growing seasons without cultural inputs, plants inoculated with VAM fungi had greater survival percentages, basal diameters, and above-ground biomass that noninoculated plants. Inoculated plants had higher levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in above-ground biomass than noninoculated plants. Root colonization percentages of inoculated plants remained fairly stable while noninoculated plants showed low levels of colonization over the 3-year study period. Vesicualr-arbuscular mycorrhizal enhanced the survival and growth of the 3 grass species by making effective use of limited in the lignite overburden.

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 24 (1988)395-405 Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam Printed in the The Netherlands