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Ectomycorrhizal Inoculation Fails to Improve Performance of Sitka Spruce Seedlings on Clearcuts in Southeastern Alaska

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Hebeloma crustulini-forme (Bull. ex St. Amans) Quel., Laccaria laccata (Scop. ex Fr.) Berk and Br., and Cenococcum geophilum (L. ex Fr.) Pers. ex Hooker were established as ectomycorrhizae on container-grown Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis [Bong.] Carr.) seedlings that, along with noninoculated controls, were planted in rotten wood, exposed mineral soil, and undisturbed duff on a recently clearcut site in southeastern Alaska. At planting, seedling heights differed significantly among all fungal treatments: the tallest were those inoculated with C. geophilum, the shortest with H. crustuliniforme. High fertilization controls, reared under a standard nursery regime, had significantly greater height and diameter than other treatments at out-planting. Four growing seasons after planting, seedling survival exceeded 99%. Total height and diameter after 4 years, as well as 4-year increments, did not differ significantly among fungal treatments and low fertilization controls. High fertilization controls had greater total heights and diameters than any other treatment; these differences were significant from seedlings inoculated with L. laccata or H. crustiliniforme. Although differences were not significant, seedlings planted in rotten wood, regardless of fungal treatment, had the smallest increase in height after 4 years (136%); those planted in undisturbed duff had the largest (162%). These data support earlier indications that prior colonization by these fungi provides little benefit to out-planted Sitka spruce seedlings on various microsites in southeastern Alaska clearcuttings. West. J. Appl. For. 3(4):110-112, October 1988.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, USDA Forest Service, Logan, UT 84321

Publication date: 1988-10-01

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