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Effects of benomyl and captan on growth and mycorrhizal colonization of Sitka-spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Irish nursery soil

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The effects of two fungicides (benomyl and captan ^ at recommended doses and up to three soil drenches) on root development and mycorrhizal colonization of Sitka-spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) were examined after 20 weeks growth, under environmentally controlled conditions, in soil from an Irish tree nursery. Although four mycorrhizal types have been found on Sitka-spruce at the nursery, only one ectomycorrhizal type (Piceirhiza horti-inflata) was identified on the short roots in this study. An inoculant (Vaminoc: MicroBio Ltd, Hemel Hempstead, UK) was used to inoculate ash and 20-week-old seedlings had a higher arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonization in comparison with uninoculated controls. Multiple applications (2^3) of benomyl reduced the length of root and shoot and shoot dry mass of Sitka-spruce, whereas in ash, it only depressed root length. Benomyl decreased the numbers of ectomycorrhizas of Sitka-spruce and arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of Vaminoc-inoculated ash. A single application of captan stimulated root length and ectomycorrhizal colonization of Sitka-spruce and root dry mass in ash compared with uninoculated controls. Applications of captan reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of Vaminoc-inoculated ash to levels near to those of uninoculated controls. Of the two fungicides used, benomyl had the most deleterious effect on root length and mycorrhizal colonization of Sitka-spruce and ash.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2000


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