Current issue: 53(1)
Mycorrhizal association is a characteristic feature of the trees of the northern coniferous forests. The purpose of the present study was to determine what influence some fungicides and herbicides regularly used in Finnish nurseries have on formation and development mycorrhizal in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) seedlings. The results are based mainly on field experiments in nurseries. First the initiation of mycorrhiza was described in untreated seedlings.
In the first growing season mycorrhizal infection commences fairly late even under normal conditions, i.e. 6–7 weeks after seeding and 3–4 weeks after the formation of the first short roots. Soil disinfectants are commonly used in nurseries before seeding, and they are supposed to evaporate or disintegrate in a few days or 1–2 weeks. In pure culture experiments mycorrhizal fungi proved several times more sensitive than parasitic and indifferent soil moulds to herbicides and fungicides, but in field experiments the delay of mycorrhizal infection caused by them does not seem to harm the seedlings. In the second summer differences of mycorrhizal relations between treated and control plots disappeared. Accordingly, the influence of biocides on mycorrhizae, when applied in the customary concentrations, does not extend beyond the first growing season.
Methyl bromide and SMDC retarded mycorrhiza formation distinctly, while formaldehyde and allyl alcohol had no effect. Apart from not retarding mycorrhizae, formaldehyde and allyl alcohol promoted seedling growth and favoured Trichoderma viride in the soil. Trichoderma is known to be antagonistic to many fungi.
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