Mycorrhizae, Survival and Growth of Selected Woody Plant Species in Lignite Overburden in Texas

by Fred T. Davies, Jr. and Christopher A. Call

Seedlings of live oak (Quercus virginiana (Mill.)), Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.), and Texas mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora (Ort.) Lag.) were inoculated with either ectomycorrhizal fungi (Pisolithus tinctorius (Mich. Ex Pers) Ckr. And Couch) or vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM/endomycorrhizal) fungi (Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxter) Gerd. & Trappe, Gigaspora margarita (Becker & Hall), and Glomus mosseae (Nicol and Gerd.) Gerd. & Trappe) in a containerized system and transplanted into lignite overburden at two separate mine sites in the Post Oak Savannah region of Texas. Ectomycorrhizal Q. virginiana and endomycorrhizal S. sebiferum exhibited greater growth than noninoculated controls. Overburden at one site was low in P, while the second site was moderately high in P; however, root colonization levels of inoculated plants were high in both sites, while non inoculated plants had low levels of colonization. Both ecto- and endomycorrhizal fungi enhanced growth of the three woody species in these nitrogen-deficient overburden sites, independent of overburden P.

Agriculture, Ecosysytems and Environment 31 (1990)243-252