Effectivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi collected from reclaimed mine soil and tallgrass prairie.
We examined suitability of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with cool-season nonnative forages on reclaimed surface-mined land in southeast Ohio for establishment of native warm-season grasses. The goal of establishing these grasses is to diversify a post-reclamation landscape that is incapable of supporting native forest species. A 16-week glasshouse study compared AMF from a 30-year reclaimed mine soil (WL) with AMF from native Ohio tallgrass prairie soil (CL). Four native grasses were examined from seedling through 16 weeks of growth. Comparisons were made between CL and WL AMF on colonized (+AMF) and non-colonized plants (-AMF) at three levels of soil phosphorus (P). Leaves were counted at 4 week intervals. Shoot and root biomass and percent AMF root colonization were measured at termination. We found no difference between WL and CL AMF. Added soil P did not reduce AMF colonization, but did reduce AMF efficacy. Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman), Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash), and tall dropseed (Sporobolus asper (Michx.) Kunth) benefited from AMF only at low soil P while slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus (Link) Gould ex Shinners) exhibited no benefit. Establishment of tallgrass prairie dominants big blue-stem and Indiangrass would be supported by the mine soil AMF. It appears that the non-native forage species have supported AMF equally functional as AMF from a regionally native tallgrass prairie. Tall dropseed and slender wheatgrass were found to be less dependent on AMF than big bluestem or Indiangrass and thus would be useful in areas with little or no AMF inoculum.