Research Article

Plant and Soil

, Volume 153, Issue 2, pp 155-164

First online:

The ability of 16 ectomycorrhizal fungi to increase growth and phosphorus uptake of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and E. diversicolor F. Muell.

  • T. I. BurgessAffiliated withCSIRO Division of Forestry
  • , N. MalajczukAffiliated withCSIRO Division of Forestry
  • , T. S. GroveAffiliated withCSIRO Division of Forestry

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The effectiveness of 16 fungal isolates in forming ectomycorrhizas and increasing the growth and phosphorus uptake of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and E. diversicolor F. Muell. seedlings was examined in the glasshouse. Seedlings were grown in yellow sand at 2 phosphorus levels (4 and 12 mg P kg-1 sand). At the time of harvest (100 days), the non-inoculated seedlings and seedlings inoculated with Paxillus muelleri (Berk.) Sacc. and Cortinarius globuliformis Bougher had a low level of contamination from an unknown mycorrhizal fungi. Seedlings inoculated with Thaxterogaster sp. nov. and Hysterangium inflatum Rodway had developed mycorrhizas of the superficial type whereas Hydnangium carneum Wallr. in Dietr., Hymenogaster viscidus Massee & Rodway, Hymenogaster zeylanicus Petch, Setchelliogaster sp. nov., Laccaria laccata (Scop. ex. Fr.) Berk., Scleroderma verrucosum (Vaillant) Pers., Amanita xanthocephala (Berk.) Reid & Hilton, Descolea maculata Bougher and Malajczuk and Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers.) Coker & Couch formed typical pyramidal ectomycorrhizas. The dry weight of non-inoculated and inoculated E. globulus seedlings at 12 mg P kg-1 sand did not differ, whereas several isolates caused growth depression of E. diversicolor. By contrast, at 4 mg P kg-1 sand growth increases ranged from 0–13 times above that of non-inoculated seedlings. P. tinctorius produced the largest growth increase on both eucalypt species. In general, isolates which developed more extensive mycorrhizas on roots produced the largest growth responses to inoculation. Isolates which increased plant growth also increased phosphorus uptake by the plant. Seedlings inoculated with L. laccata and S. verrucosum retained more phosphorus in their roots than plants inoculated with the other fungal isolates.

Key words

ectomycorrhizal fungi eucalypts growth response phosphorus