COS 143-3 - AMF inoculation in prairie restoration: AMF spread and impact on plant communities in disturbed native restoration sites

Thursday, August 10, 2017: 8:40 AM
B115, Oregon Convention Center
Alice G. Tipton1, Liz Koziol2, Jonathan T. Bauer3, Geoffrey L. House4, Jacob R. Hopkins5, Sheena M. A. Parsons1, Peggy A. Schultz1, James D. Bever6 and Katherine L. Zaiger7, (1)Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, (2)The Land Institute, (3)Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, (4)Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, (5)Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas/Kansas Biological Station, Lawrence, KS, (6)Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, (7)Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Soil microbial community composition and diversity have significant effects on diversity and productivity of plant communities. In tallgrass prairies, AMF communities alter plant community composition, and agricultural disturbances like tillage and fertilizing impact AMF communities important for native plant establishment. Soil additions from remnant prairies increase prairie plant survival and growth in restoration sites. We tested how native AMF inocula influences plant communities in a prairie restoration and how AMF spread from inocula locations into the surrounding plant community. At Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, IL, we set up 27 16-m2 plots in a disked field and added native nurse plants in a central row with the following inoculation treatments: AMF cultured from remnant prairie, whole soil inocula from remnant prairie, or sterile control soil. To test how AMF spread from inoculation sites, we planted Schizachyrium scoparium test plants at increasing distances from the nurse plant row. Plots were seeded with native prairie species. For three years, we measured nurse and test plants, assessed plant community composition at the nurse plant row and increasing distances from the nurse plant row, and used molecular techniques to assess spread of AMF inocula from nurse plant rows out into the surrounding plant community.


Within the first year of planting, Allium cernuum (p<0.0001), Amorpha canescens (p=0.02), and Echinacea pallida (p=0.06) nurse plants showed positive effects of inoculation, while S. scoparium nurse plants showed non-significant trends in the opposite direction. AMF taxa used in inoculation were more dominant in roots collected in nurse plant rows (p<0.001), suggesting that AMF take more than one growing season to spread beyond inoculation points. We are currently analyzing nurse plant growth, AMF spread from inocula locations, and inoculation’s impact on the surrounding plant community for all three years of the experiment, to determine how inoculation and nurse plant additions impact spread of AMF and overall plant community restoration success across multiple growing seasons.