Dependence of 3 Nebraska Sandhills warm-season grasses on vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae.

Brejda, J.J.
Yocom, D.H.
Moser, L.E.
Waller, S.S.
Rangeland Ecology & Management / Journal of Range Management Archives
Publication Year: 
Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) are rare or absent in actively eroding soils of the Sandhills. The objective of this study was to determine if 3 major Sandhills warm-season grasses used in reseeding eroded Sandhills sites are highly mycorrhizal dependent, and evaluate the response of VAM at different phosphorus (P) levels. In 2 greenhouse experiments, sand bluestem [Andropogon gerardii var. paucipilus (Nash) Fern.], switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and prairie sandreed [Calamovilfa longifolia (Hook) Scribn.] were grown in steam-sterilized sand in pots and inoculated with either indigenous Sandhills VAM, Glomus deserticola, or noninoculated. In the second experiment, VAM inoculated and control plants were treated with 5 P levels ranging from 5.4 to 27.0 mg P pot-1. Increasing levels of P fertilizer caused an initial increase, then dramatic decrease, in percentage colonization by Glomus deserticola but bad no effect on percentage colonization by indigenous Sandhills VAM. Mycorrhizal inoculated plants had a greater number of tillers, greater shoot weight, root weight, tissue P concentration and percentage P recovered, and a lower root/shoot ratio and P efficiency than noninoculated plants. Noninoculated sand bluestem had significantly lower shoot P concentration but greater P efficiency over all P levels thin any other grass-VAM treatment combination. Phosphorus fertilizer and VAM effects were often complementary at P levels up to 16.2 to 21.6 mg P pot-1, with no change or a decrease in plant responses at higher P levels. These 3 major Sandhills warm-season grasses were highly mycorrhizal dependent. Successful reestablishment of these on eroded sites in the Sandhills may be greatly improved if soil reinoculation with VAM occurred prior to revegetation.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
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Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management) serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, ecology, and use of rangelands and their resources. The journal is peer-reviewed and provides international exchange of scholarly research and information among persons interested in rangelands. The Global Rangelands collection includes REM content up to 5 years from the current year. More recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management, and may be available at your local university library.
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