This project identified critical nursery factors leading to improved mycorrhization and rooting structure of nursery-grown interior Douglas-fir seedlings. Survival and productivity of planted interior Douglas-fir has historically been low in the Dry and Very Dry IDF subzones, and we hypothesized that lack of mycorrhization and poor root structure of standard container seedlings were important contributing factors to this poor success. We conducted a series of growth-chamber experiments testing different levels of the factors important in growing media: nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), water, and aeration. At the whole plot level, we also compared seedlings grown with and without native inoculum (field soil) to determine whether natural inoculation enhanced mycorrhization across each of the growing medium factors (split plots). This experiment was replicated 18 times at the UBC greenhouse. The seedlings were harvested in March and April, 2004, and analysed for root and shoot biomass, number of live, dead and mycorrhizal root tips, and percent colonization by ectomycorrhizal morphotypes identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible. Extra seedlings are being hardened off at the UBC greenhouse with hopes that funding can be secured for out out-planting trials on the nine sites we selected in the Very Dry, Dry and Moist IDF subzones during the fall of 2003 as part of this project. Once we have finished processing the seedlings, data will be entered, analysed, and a draft journal paper and extension note will be written. Presentations to nurseries will be conducted when the research is completed.
Suzanne W. Simard, Olga Kazantseva, Shannon Berch.
Simard, Suzanne W., Kazantseva, Olga; Berch, Shannon M.. 2004. Nursery cultural regimes for improved root development and mycorrhization of interior Douglas-fir container seedlings. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR223