, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 527-535
Date: 04 Apr 2007

Mycorrhizal status of Eucalyptus plantations in south China and implications for management

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The aim of this study is to assess the mycorrhizal status of Eucalyptus plantations in south China and to determine the need for inoculation. In four provinces in south China, 155 plantations were sampled for sporocarps of ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, and mycorrhizas over 2 years. This study revealed a low above-ground diversity of ECM fungi consisting of 15 taxa fruiting beneath Eucalyptus plantations. The most common ECM genera were Scleroderma and Pisolithus, but they were infrequent. A total of 21 AM fungi, mostly Glomus species, were recognized from spores collected from eucalypt plantations. Four Glomus species were frequently present in soils, but spore density and relative abundance of AM fungi were generally low. Eucalypt roots from all plantation sites were poorly colonized by either ECM fungi or AM fungi. A bioassay with E. urophylla as a bait host, using soils collected from 11 eucalypt plantations, confirmed low levels of inoculum of both ECM and AM fungi in field soil. This is the first integrated study on the mycorrhizal status of eucalypt plantations in China. Findings from this research can be used to encourage adoption of mycorrhizal technology by eucalypt nurseries in the region. The potential of using spores of compatible ECM fungi or collections for forest nurseries is discussed.