Blauth, James , Schrum, David , Harp, Trevor , Woolverton, Hannah , Guthrie, Sean , Garcia, Jerel , Sandri, Iyan .
Towards revegetation of a disturbed desert wash using native woody legumes, rhizobia, and arbuscular mycorrhizas.
We propose that reintroducing native woody legumes colonized by native rhizobia and mycorrhizas can be an effective low-input approach for initiating and accelerating recovery of disturbed desert ecosystems where woody legumes are common. We are preparing to revegetate a disturbed Colorado Desert wash to test this hypothesis. In this phase of the project we are determining which plant species show promise for facilitating colonization by other plants, and whether soil from the site to be revegetated will be sufficient for growing colonized seedlings for transplant. We surveyed under the canopies of mature plants of each of three candidate species – Prosopis glandulosa, Cercidium floridum, and Acacia greggii – as well as Chilopsis linearis as a nonlegume control. Comparing the number of woody plants found under vs. outside their canopies, we are looking for evidence that one or more of our candidate species shows a “nurse plant” effect. We collected soil cores from each of four sites across our study washes for soil analysis and growth experiments. We are comparing the soil pH, salinity, and cation exchange capacity of soil in the upper disturbed wash to be revegetated vs. the lower disturbed wash and the upper and lower portions of a reference wash to confirm there are no limiting soil conditions for plant and microbe reestablishment in the upper disturbed wash. We grew seedlings of our three candidate species in fresh soil from each of the four sites and measured growth, nutrient uptake, and colonization by rhizobia and mycorrhizas at six and twelve weeks after planting. We are determining if nutrients and mutualistic microbes in the upper disturbed wash soil are adequate to support growth of robust colonized seedlings for outplanting to the upper disturbed wash. Results of our studies and implications for our revegetation plan will be described.
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1 - University of Redlands, Biology, 1200 East Colton Ave., Redlands, California, 92373, USA
2 - University of Redlands, Chemistry, 1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands, CA, 92373
3 - University of Redlands, Biology, 1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands, CA, 92373
4 - University of Redlands, Biology, 1200 E. Colton Ave., Redlands, CA, 92373, United States
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM