EFFECT OF IRRIGATION AND PRETRANSPLANT INOCULATION OF VESICULAR-ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL (VAM) FUNGI ON POSTTRANSPLANT GROWTH OF PROSOPIS ALBA GRIEB

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  • 1 Department of Botany, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1601

Prosopis alba (mesquite) in 27-liter containers, either infected or noninfected with the VAM fungi, Glomus intraradix Schenk & Smith, during the container production phase were transplanted into a simulated landscape and irrigated at regular intervals or nonirrigated (irrigated only once at transplanting time). Mesquite shoot extension (SE), trunk diameter, rooting density (RD), specific root length density (SRLD), and VAM colonization levels were measured at 6 months and 1 year after transplanting. At 6 months, VAM colonization was observed only in the roots of inoculated mesquite, but by 12 months, roots of inoculated and noninoculated mesquite were colonized by VAM fungi. There were higher levels of VAM colonization in roots of irrigated mesquite (23%) in comparison to nonirrigated mesquite (5%). Irrigation promoted SE and VAM inoculation inhibited SE of nonirrigated trees. Trunk diameter was greater for irrigated trees than for nonirrigated trees and was not affected by VAM fungal treatment. At 6 months after transplanting, VAM fungal and irrigation treatments interacted to affect mesquite RD and SRLD. For irrigated mesquite, RD and SRLD were highest for VAM-inoculated mesquite, whereas for nonirrigated trees, RD and SRLD were highest for noninoculated trees. At 12 months after transplanting, mesquite RD and SRLD were higher for irrigated than for nonirrigated trees and were not affected by previous VAM inoculation.

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