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Sewage Sludge and Pisolithus tinctorius Ectomycorrhizae: Their Effect on Growth of Pine Seedlings

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Four levels of dried sludge (0, 69, 138, and 275 metric tons/ha) and infestation of soil with the fungal symbiont Pisolithus tinctorius or control inoculum were combined factorially in heavy clay soil from a severely eroded site to determine their effects on growth of Pinus taeda and P. echinata seedlings. Addition of sludge to soil caused highly significant increases in growth of both pine species. Seedlings of both pine species with Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae were significantly taller than those with ectomycorrhizae formed by naturally occurring fungi. Loblolly pine seedlings with Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae also had significantly greater stem diameters and foliar and root fresh weights than control seedlings. Foliar zinc increased and foliar aluminum decreased with increased sludge levels. Loblolly seedlings with Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae also had significantly less foliar zinc than control seedlings. There were no correlations between sludge levels or Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae and amounts of 13 other elements in the foliage. The effects of Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae were greatest at the intermediate sludge level (138 tons/ha) on both loblolly and shortleaf pine seedlings. Based on these results, the interaction of dried sewage sludge with Pisolithus ectomycorrhizae appears to have valuable potential in the improvement of pine growth on eroded forest sites. Forest Sci. 22:351-358.

Keywords: Nutritional disorder; Pinus echinata; Pinus taeda; site reclamation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Chief Plant Pathologist, USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Forestry Sciences Laboratory, Carlton Street, Athens, Georgia 30602

Publication date: September 1, 1976

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