The effects of soil type, fertilization, and mycorrhizal inoculation on paper birch (Betula papyrifera) in a simulated urban setting
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Series/Report no.:Plant Pathology. Graduate student poster competition, 2006
Urban trees are routinely planted in soils that are not conducive to their overall health. The application of mineral fertilizers to urban soils improves tree growth rates; however, fertilization may decrease associations with ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF). Commercial products containing EMF are marketed as an alternative to fertilization, suggesting that native EMF are not able to establish themselves in urban soils. These products are assumed to improve the mycorrhizal status of the trees, but this assumption is often based on circumstantial evidence at best and flawed experiments in many cases. The long term effects of these products on native EMF communities and urban tree health remain unknown. We are exploring the effects of soil type, fertility, and inoculation with a commercial EMF product on native EMF communities, growth, and stress tolerance in Betula papyrifera in a simulated urban setting. Preliminary results from this multi-year study indicate that native MF may rapidly establish in urban soils and reach levels comparable to topsoil treatments. Inoculation of trees with commercial mycorrhizal inoculant resulted in increased root : shoot ratios; however, no EMF from this product were detected in the field. Data obtained from greenhouse bioassays on paper birch seedlings support field data. Information gained in subsequent years will clarify the roles of EMF on the health and stress tolerance of trees in the urban forest.
This poster was constructed for the OARDC graduate student poster competition in April, 2006 by Nathan M. Kleczewski
Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association in addition to other funds appropriated to the Ohio Agriculture and Research Development Center (OARDC)