Contribution to Book
W.D. Shepperd, D. Binkley, D.L. Bartos, T.J. Stohlgren
Sustaining Aspen in Western Landscapes: Symposium Proceedings
USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
Native mycorrhizal fungi associated with aspen were surveyed on three soil types in the north-central Rocky Mountains. Selected isolates were tested for the ability to enhance aspen seedling growth in vitro. Over 50 species of ectomycorrhizal fungi occur with Populus tremuloides in this region, primarily basidiomycete fungi in the Agaricales. Almost one-third (30%) were ubiquitous with aspen and were found on all three soil types. Over one-third (37%) were restricted to the acidic, sandy soil of the smelter-impacted Butte-Anaconda area, revealing a subset of fungi that tolerate these conditions. Mycorrhizal fungi were screened for their ability to enhance aspen growth and establishment. Of nine selected isolates, all but one increased the biomass of aspen seedlings 2–4 times. Stem diameter, height, and number of root tips increased with inoculation of some fungi. The native species Paxillus vernalis, Tricholoma scalpturatum, Hebeloma mesophaem, Thelephora terrestris, and Laccaria spp. were most promising for further study. Pisolithus tinctorius (available as commercial inoculum) formed prolific mycorrhizae and stimulated plant growth but does not occur with aspen in the Rocky Mountains.
Cripps, CL. 2001. Mycorrhizal fungi of aspen forests: natural occurrence and potential applications. WD Shepperd et al (compilers). Sustaining Aspen in Western Landscapes: Symposium Proceedings. Proceedings RMRS-P-18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fort Collins, CO.