Interactive Effects of Mycorrhizal Inoculation and Organic Soil Amendments on Nitrogen Acquisition and Growth of Highbush Blueberry

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Authors:
Wei Qiang YangDepartment of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

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Barbara L. GoulartDepartment of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

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K. DemchakDepartment of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

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Yadong LiDepartment of Horticulture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802

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The ability of mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal `Elliott' highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) plants to acquire soil N under different preplant organic soil amendment regimes (forest litter, rotted sawdust, or no amendment) was investigated in a field experiment using 15N labeled (NH4)2SO4. Plants inoculated with an ericoid mycorrhizal isolate, Oidiodendron maius Dalpé (UAMH 9263), had lower leaf 15N enrichment and higher leaf N contents than noninoculated plants but similar leaf N concentrations, indicating mycorrhizal plants absorbed more nonlabeled soil N than nonmycorrhizal plants. Mycorrhizal plants produced more plant dry weight (DW) and larger canopy volumes. The effect of preplant organic amendments on the growth of highbush blueberry plants was clearly demonstrated. Plants grown in soil amended with forest litter produced higher DW than those in either the rotted sawdust amendment or no amendment. Plants grown in soils amended preplant with sawdust, the current commercial recommendation, were the smallest. Differences in the carbon to nitrogen ratio were likely responsible for growth differences among plants treated with different soil amendments.

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