Plant and Soil

, Volume 110, Issue 2, pp 187–198 | Cite as

Glasshouse evaluation of the growth ofAlnus rubra andAlnus glutinosa on peat and acid brown earth soils when inoculated with four sources ofFrankia

  • L. J. Sheppard
  • J. E. Hooker
  • C. T. Wheeler
  • R. I. Smith


The effects of soil type (an acid peat and 2 acid brown earths) andFrankia source (3 spore-positive crushed nodule inocula and spore-negative crushed nodules containing the singleFrankia ArI5) on nodulation, N content and growth ofAlnus glutinosa andA. rubra were determined in a glasshouse pot experiment of two years duration. Plants on all soils required additional P for growth. Growth of both species was very poor on peat withA. glutinosa superior toA. rubra. The former species was also superior toA. rubra on an acid brown earth with low pH and low P content. Some plant-inoculum combinations were of notable effectivity on particular soils but soil type was the major source of variation in plant weight. Inoculation with crushed nodules containingFrankia ArI5 only gave poor infection of the host plant, suggesting that inoculation with locally-collected crushed nodules can be a preferred alternative to inoculation withFrankia isolates of untested effectivity. Evidence of adaptation ofFrankia to particular soils was obtained. Thus, while the growth of all strains was stimulated by mineral soil extracts, inhibitory effects of peat extracts were more apparent with isolates from nodules from mineral soils than from peat, suggesting that survival ofFrankia on peat may be improved by strain selection.

Key words

acid brown earth Alnus glutinosa Alnus rubra Frankia nitrogen fixation nodule peat 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Sheppard
    • 1
  • J. E. Hooker
    • 2
  • C. T. Wheeler
    • 2
  • R. I. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Terrestrial EcologyPenicuikUK
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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