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Publication Type J
Authors McHugh, J. M. and J. Dighton
Title Influence of mycorrhizal, inoculation, inundation period, salinity, and phosphorus availability on the growth of two salt marsh grasses, Spartina alterniflora Lois. and Spartina cynosuroides (L.) Roth., in nursery systems
Source Restoration Ecology
Author Keywords mycorrhizae P plant growth restoration salinity Spartina tidal inundation vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae vertical-distribution north-carolina colonization responses drainage plants fungi connecticut resource
Abstract Restoration of salt marsh ecosystems is an important concern in the eastern United States to mitigate damage caused by industrial development. Little attention has been directed to the mycorrhizal influence on plantings of salt marsh species to stabilize estuarine sediments and establish cover. In our study, seedlings of two salt marsh grasses, Spartina alterniflora and Spartina cynosuroides, were grown in soil with a commercial, mixed species inoculum of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Plants were grown in experimental "ebb and flow" boxes, simulating three levels of tidal inundation, to which two levels of applied phosphorus (P) and two levels of salinity were imposed. After 2.5 months, S. alterniflora was poorly colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizae, developing only fungal hyphae and no arbuscules, but S. cynosuroides became moderately colonized. Mycorrhizal inoculation marginally improved growth and P and nitrogen (N) content of both plant species at low levels of P supply but significantly increased tillering in both plant species. This factor could be beneficial in enhancing ground cover during restoration procedures. Greater P availability increased the mycorrhizal status of S. cynosuroides and improved P nutrition of both plant species, despite a reduction in the root-to-shoot ratio. Increasing salinity reduced mycorrhizal colonization of S. alterniflora but not of S. cynosuroides. Growth and nutrient content of S. alterniflora was improved at higher levels of salinity, but only increased nutrient content in S. cynosuroides. Increased duration of tidal inundation decreased plant growth in both species, but tissue P and N concentrations were highest with the longest time of inundation in both species.
Author Address Rutgers State Univ, Pinelands Field Stn, New Lisbon, NJ 08064 USA. Dighton, J, Rutgers State Univ, Pinelands Field Stn, 501 4 Mile Rd,POB 206, New Lisbon, NJ 08064 USA. dighton@camden.rutgers.edu
Publication Date Dec
Year Published 2004
Volume 12
Issue 4
Beginning Page 533-545
Unique Article Identifier ISI:000225713800008
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