For efficient use of mycorrhizal inoculum the effectiveness of the isolate used and the rate of application required for maximum colonization must be known. The objectives of this research were to (1) define the lower limit of inoculum density required for maximum colonization of Uniola paniculata in a commercial nursery and (2) evaluate the performance of a selected native dune vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) isolate versus a commercially available non-dune VAM (foreign) isolate on three diverse Florida beaches. An inoculum-dilution study was conducted in a commercial nursery with cutroot inoculum of a Glomus sp. that had been isolated from a Florida dune. Maximum colonization was achieved with approximately 1 propagule ml-1 of growth medium. In a separate nursery study, 10 inoculation treatments (combinations of inoculum source and level) were established in the commercial nursery. Treatments included cut-root and sheared-root inoculum of the native dune isolate, and Nutri-Link, a commercial inoculum of G. intraradices. Colonized plants from selected treatments were transplanted to beach sites around Florida. At Miami Beach, after one growing season, the shoot mass of plants inoculated with the native isolate was approximately twice that of plants inoculated with the foreign isolate. At Katherine Abbey Hanna Park and Eglin Air Force Base there were no significant inoculum source effects on shoot mass or root length after one growing season. However, the native isolate produced a greater colonized root length than the foreign isolate in all plantings. The soil hyphal density was measured at Eglin Air Force Base, and the results showed that plants inoculated with the native isolate had more soil hyphae (4.33 mg-1) than plants inoculated with the foreign isolate (3.65 mg-1) or the non-inoculated plants (2.12 mg-1). Even where there were no obvious shoot growth responses, mycorrhizal inoculation may have an important effect on dune stabilization, as soil hyphae are known to bind sand grains and improve dune stability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Soil Science