Research Reports

Mycorrhizal/Plant Factors Involved in Roadside Reclamation

Principal Investigator:

Iris D Charvat, Hamdy Agwa, JoAnna Hebberger, Joel Tallaksen, Marcia Raley, Elizabeth Gould, Jennifer White, Sarah Slack

August 2000

Report no. MnDOT 2000-30

Projects: Mycorrhizal/Plant Factors Involved in Roadside Reclamation

Topics: Environment

The main goal of this research was to study mycorrhizal and plant factors involved in roadside reclamation. Our objectives included (1) producing mycorrhizal inocula for incorporation at restoration sites, (2) assessing the properties of soil additives and mycorrhizal inocula in potted greenhouse trials, (3) assessing the effects of soil amendments and maintenance techniques on mycorrhizal/plant parameters on recently established roadside rights-of-way, (4) assessing the longer-term effects of mycorrhizal reintroduction into prairie restoration sites, (5) monitoring mycorrhizal diversity of undisturbed Minnesota prairies for comparison to restoration sites, and (6) monitoring plant colonization in wetland and prairie habitats at a restored roadside site. Fertilization amendments favored the growth of undesirable weedy species and lowered the diversity of native plant species. Hence, the addition of fertilizer did not benefit native prairie plantings and generally is not recommended for use at roadside prairie restoration sites. The fungal inocula incorporated into roadside restoration plots enhanced native plant cover at one location, but had minimal impact at another location. Our results indicate that many factors influence the outcome of fungal inoculation. The mycorrhizal studies of native areas provide an information base against which to compare restored areas. The revegetation studies yielded recommendations for future restorations. Keywords: Prairie and wetland restoration, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, fungal inoculum, fertilization, seedbank, burning/mowing

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