British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Establishment and growth of mycorrhizal and rhizobium inoculated high-elevation native legumes on an unamended coal mine spobl dump in Southeastern British Columbia Smyth, Clint R.


Direct seeding, transplant survivorship, growth and reproductive performance of seven mycorrhizal and Rhizobium inoculated high-elevation native legume species were studied at a coal mine in the Rocky Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Mycorrhizal and Rhizobium infection levels were low in the control treatment and highest in the combined inoculation treatments of all species. Transplant survival of each species was greatest for the combined inoculation treatment and lowest for the uninoculated control. Inoculation with mycorrhizae, Rhizobium or a combination of mycorrhizae and Rhizobium resulted in greater mean plant diameters, mean plant heights, mean numbers of leaves per plant and mean percentage flowering than the uninoculated control plants. Measured plant parameters for the single inoculation treatments, i.e., mycorrhizal or Rhizobium, were greater than the control, but the greatest increases were recorded for the combination inoculation treatment. The greatest differences in the measured parameters were recorded for silky locoweed (Oxytropis sericea Nutt.) although differences were also large for Bourgeau's milk-vetch (Astragalus bourgovii A. Gray), Robin's milk-vetch (Astragalus robbinsii [Oakes] A. Gray) and bent-flowered milk-vetch (Astragalus vexilliflexus var. nubilus Barneby). The results of the study have important management implications for the successful establishment of these species on unamended spoil dumps at high elevations.

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