Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis in relation to forestation in arid land.
VA mycorrhizal fungal inoculation of Prosopis juliflora seedlings using Glomus macrocarpum in the nursery of the University of Delhi significantly increased the juvenile growth response over 3 months. Three-month-old nursery raised mycorrhizal seedlings gave enhanced establishment (survival and growth) 3 months after outplanting (i.e at 6 months old) in 30×30×30 cm pits in nutrient deficient, alkaline soil in Asola Wildlife Sanctuary (about 45 km from Delhi), a semiarid area with a rhizosphere soil temperature of 52°C. The VAM symbiont also increased drought tolerance of Prosopis plants in terms of maintaining and enhancing growth under water stress conditions. The results indicate the potential of VA mycorrhizas to partly reduce/replace the fertilizer requirements of trees in degraded, semiarid sites, where they can be described as acting as biofertilizers.