Original Articles

Pinus patula establishment problem associated with poor ectomycorrhizal development in previously cultivated soils

Published in: The Southern African Forestry Journal
Volume 186, issue 1, 1999 , pages: 59–65
DOI: 10.1080/10295925.1999.9631243
Author(s): S. KhalilDepartment of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa, N. LabuschagneDepartment of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa, M.J. WingfieldDepartment of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, South Africa

Abstract

A field survey of Pinus patula Schlecht. et Cham. plantations at Mondi's Mooi River Estate, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa was conducted to assess the levels of ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal colonisation. The objective was to determine whether the establishment problem (old land syndrome) is related to the quality and quantity of EM fungal colonisation of P. patula roots. EM colonisation was assessed in previously cultivated soils and compared to that in virgin soils at four sites. Mycorrhizal colonisation was higher in roots from virgin soil than in previously cultivated soils, although this difference was statistically significant at only two sites. Basidiomata of three EM fungi (Thelephora terrestris, Laccaria laccata and Boletus edulis) were collected from the plantations in virgin soil and one (T. terrestris) from the previously cultivated soil. Three types of EM fungal roots were identified from the survey area. These findings suggest that poor mycorrhizal development in previously cultivated soils could be an important factor contributing to establishment problems in these soils.

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