Source of mycorrhizal inoculum influences growth of Faidherbia albida seedlings

  • Emiru BirhaneEmail author
  • Mengsteab Hailemariam
  • Girmay Gebresamuel
  • Tesfay Araya
  • Kiros Meles Hadgu
  • Lindsey Norgrove
Original Paper


Poor land use management and practice inhibit the growth and establishment of tree seedlings in dryland areas. We assessed arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) status of Faidherbia albida (Del.) A. Chev. trees grown on different land uses. We quantified the growth and nutrient uptake of F. albida seedlings inoculated with AM from different sources. These efforts were based on soil and fine root samples from the rhizosphere soils of F. albida trees. AM root colonization was determined using the gridline intersect method. Spores were extracted by the wet sieving and decanting method and identified to genus level. The seedling experiment had a completely randomized one-factorial design with four treatments and five replications. Faidherbida albida seedlings were grown in a greenhouse. All in situ F. albida trees were colonized by AM fungi. AM root colonization of F. albida trees was significantly higher (P < 0.0086) in area exclosures than on lands used for grazing or cultivation. Spore abundance was significantly higher (P < 0.0014) in area exclosures followed by cultivated land and grazing land. Glomus was the dominant genus in all land-uses. AM-inoculated F. albida seedlings grew better (P < 0.05) than non-inoculated controls. Seedlings inoculated with AM from area exclosure had significantly (P < 0.05) higher growth and nutrient uptake than those inoculated with AM from grazing and cultivated land. This emphasizes the importance of the native soil AM potential for better establishment of seedlings to achieve optimum plant growth improvement and assist in rehabilitation of degraded arid lands.


Spore abundance AM colonization Inoculum types Land-use types Nutrient uptake Growth parameters 



The write-up of the paper is supported by the Steps towards sustainable forest management with the local communities in Tigray, northern Ethiopia at Mekelle University funded by NORAD/NORHED (ETH 13/0018) program. We are grateful to the anonymous referees for constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.


  1. Anderson JM, Ingram JSI (1993) Tropical soil biology and fertility: a handbook of methods, 2nd edn. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Barea JM, Palenzuela J, Cornejo P, Estrada B, Azcón R, Ferrol N (2011) Ecological and functional roles of mycorrhizas in semi-arid ecosystems of Southeast Spain. J Arid Environ 75(12):1292–1301. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bati CB, Santilli E, Lombardo L (2015) Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on growth and on micronutrient and macronutrient uptake and allocation in olive plantlets growing under high total Mn levels. Mycorrhiza 25:97–108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Birhane E, Kuyper TW, Sterck FJ, Bongers F (2010) Arbuscular mycorrhizal associations in Boswellia papyrifera (frankincense-tree) dominated dry deciduous woodlands of Northern Ethiopia. For Ecol Manag 260(12):2160–2169. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Birhane E, Sterck FJ, Fetene M, Bongers F, Kuyper TW (2012) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi enhance photosynthesis, water use efficiency, and growth of frankincense seedlings under pulsed water availability conditions. Oecologia 169(4):895–904. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Bishaw B (2001) Deforestation and land degradation in the Ethiopian highlands: a strategy for physical recovery. Northeast Afr Stud 8(1):7–25. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blake GR, Hartge KH (1986) Bulk Density1. In: Klute A (ed) Methods of soil analysis: part 1—physical and mineralogical methods. SSSA Book Ser. 5.1. ASA, Madison, pp 363–375. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bremner JM, Mulvaney CS (1982) Nitrogen total. In: Page AL (ed) Methods of soil analysis, part 2 chemical and microbiological properties ASA monograph, vol 9. ASA, Madison, pp 595–624Google Scholar
  9. Brito I, Goss MJ (2012) Impact of tillage system on arbuscular mycorrhiza fungal communities in the soil under Mediterranean conditions. Soil Tillage Res 121:63–67. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brito I, Goss MJ, De Carvalho M (2012) Effect of tillage and crop on arbuscular mycorrhiza colonization of winter wheat and triticale under Mediterranean conditions. Soil Use Manag 28(2):202–208. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brundrett M, Bougher N, Dell B, Grove T, Malajczuk N (1996) Working with mycorrhizas in forestry and agriculture. ACIAR monograph. J Biol Chem 32:374. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Camprubí A, Estaún V, Nogales A (2008) Response of the grapevine rootstock Richter 110 to inoculation with native and selected arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and growth performance in a replant vineyard. Mycorrhiza 18(4):211–216. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Cardoso IM, Kuyper TW (2006) Mycorrhizas and tropical soil fertility. Agrc Ecosyst Environ 116(1–2):72–84. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carvalho M, Brito I, Alho L, Goss MJ (2015) Assessing the progress of colonization by arbuscular mycorrhiza of four plant species under different temperature regimes. J Plant Nutr Soil Sci 178(3):515–522. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Castagno LN, Garcia IV, Sannazzaro AI, Bailleres M, Ruiz OA, Mendoza RE, Estrella MJ (2014) Growth, nutrient uptake and symbiosis with rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in Lotus tenuis plants fertilized with different phosphate sources and inoculated with the phosphate-solubilizing bacterium Pantoea eucalypti M91. Plant Soil 385(1–2):357–371. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chalk PMÃ, Souza RDF, Urquiaga S, Alves BJR, Boddey RM (2006) The role of arbuscular mycorrhiza in legume symbiotic performance. Soil Biol Biochem 38:2944–2951. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chev DA, Shinkafi MA, Aduradola AM (2009) Effects of mycorrhiza on the growth and productivity of Faidherbia albida (Del.) A. Chev. Niger J Basic Appl Sci 17(2):198–201Google Scholar
  18. Clark RB (1997) Arbuscular mycorrhizal adaptation, spore germination, root colonization, and host plant growth and mineral acquisition at low pH. Plant Soil 192(1):15–22. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Clark RB, Zeto SK (1996) Mineral acquisition by mycorrhizal maize grown on acid and alkaline soil. Soil Biol Biochem 28(10–11):1495–1503. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Diop TA, Gueye M, Dreyfus BL, Plenchette C, Strullu DG (1994) Acacia albida Del. in different areas of Senegal. Appl Environ Microbiol 60(9):3433–3436PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Doley K, Jite PK (2012) Response of groundnut (“JL-24”) cultivar to mycorrhiza inoculation and phosphorous application. Scientia Biologicae 4(3):118–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eason WR, Scullion J, Scott EP (1999) Soil parameters and plant responses associated with arbuscular mycorrhizas from contrasting grassland management regimes. Agr Ecosyst Environ 73(3):245–255. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Friberg S (2001) Distribution and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in traditional agriculture on the Niger inland delta, Mali, West Africa. CBM:s Skriftserie 3:53–80Google Scholar
  24. Gai JP, Feng G, Cai XB, Christie P, Li XL (2006) A preliminary survey of the arbuscular mycorrhizal status of grassland plants in southern Tibet. Mycorrhiza 16(3):191–196. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Gee GW, Bauder JW (1986) Particle-size Analysis 1. In: Klute A (ed) Methods of soil analysis: part 1—physical and mineralogical methods, vol 5. Soil Science Society of America, Madison, pp 383–411. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gillespie IG, Allen EB (2006) Effects of soil and mycorrhizae from native and invaded vegetation on a rare California forb. Appl Soil Ecol 32:6–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Giovannetti M, Mosse B (1980) An evaluation of techniques for measuring vesicular arbuscul. New Phytol 84:489–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Giovannetti M, Schubert A, Cravero MC, Salutini L (1988) Spore production by the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus monosporum as related to host species, root colonization and plant growth enhancement. Biol Fertil Soils 6(2):120–124. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gosling P, Proctor M, Jones J (2014) Distribution and diversity of Paraglomus spp. in tilled agricultural soils. Mycorrhiza 24:1–11. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Graves JD, Watkins NK, Fitter AH, Robinson D, Scrimgeour C (1997) Intraspecific transfer of carbon between plants linked by a common mycorrhizal network. Plant Soil 192(2):153–159. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hailemariam M, Birhane E, Asfaw Z, Zewdie S (2013) Arbuscular mycorrhizal association of indigenous agroforestry tree species and their infective potential with maize in the rift valley, Ethiopia. Agrofor Syst 87(6):1261–1272. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hamel LISC, Moutoglis RHP (2005) Response of strawberry to inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under very high soil phosphorus conditions. Mycorrhiza 15(8):612–619. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  33. Haselwandter K, Bowen GD (1996) Mycorrhizal relations in trees for agroforestry and land rehabilitation. For Ecol Manag 81:1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Heidari M (2014) Effects of different mycorrhiza species on grain yield, nutrient uptake and oil content of sunflower under water stress. J Saudi Soc Agric Sci 13(1):9–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hetrick BAD, Bloom J (1986) The influence of host plant on production and colonization ability of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal spores. Mycologia 78(1):32–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jama B, Zeila A (2005) Agroforestry in the drylands of eastern Africa: a call to action. ICRAF Working Paper—No. 1. World Agroforestry Centre, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  37. Jasper DA, Abbott LK, Robson AD (1989) Acacias respond to additions of phosphorus and to inoculation with VA mycorrhizal fungi in soils stockpiled during mineral sand mining. Plant Soil 108(1):99–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Javot H, Pumplin N, Harrison MJ (2007) Phosphate in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis: transport properties and regulatory roles. Plant Cell Environ 30(3):310–322. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Jayachandran K, Shetty KG (2003) Growth response and phosphorus uptake by arbuscular mycorrhizae of wet prairie sawgrass. Aquat Bot 76:281–290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Jefwa JM, Mung’atu J, Okoth P, Muya E, Roimen H, Njuguini S (2009) Influence of land use types on occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the high altitude regions of Mt. Kenya. Trop Subtrop Agroecosyst 11:277–290Google Scholar
  41. Koide RT, Kabir Z (2000) Extraradical hyphae of the mycorrhizal fungus. New Phytol 148:511–517. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kumar KVC, Chandrashekar KR, Lakshmipathy R (2008) variation in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and phosphatase activity associated with Sida cardifolia in Karnataka. J Agric Sci 4(6):770–774Google Scholar
  43. Li T, Zhao ZW (2005) Arbuscular mycorrhizas in a hot and arid ecosystem in southwest China. Appl Soil Ecol 29(2):135–141. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mardukhi B, Rejali F, Daei G, Ardakani MR, Malakouti MJ, Miransari M (2011) Arbuscular mycorrhizas enhance nutrient uptake in different wheat genotypes at high salinity levels under field and greenhouse conditions. C R Biol 334(7):564–571. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  45. Martinez TN, Johnson NC (2010) Agricultural management influences propagule densities and functioning of arbuscular mycorrhizas in low- and high-input agroecosystems in arid environments. Appl Soil Ecol 46(2):300–306. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mekuria W, Yami M (2013) Changes in woody species composition following establishing exclosures on grazing lands in the lowlands of Northern Ethiopia. Afr J Environ Sci Technol 7(1):30–40Google Scholar
  47. Mekuria W, Veldkamp E, Tilahun M, Olschewski R (2011) Economic valuation of land restoration: the case of exclosures established on communal grazing lands in Tigray. Land Degrad Dev 22:334–344CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Miransari M, Bahrami HA, Rejali F, Malakouti MJ (2009) Effects of soil compaction and arbuscular mycorrhiza on corn (Zea mays L.) nutrient uptake. Soil Tillage Res 103:282–290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nair PK (1993) An introduction to agroforestry. Kluwer, The NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ndoye F, Kane A, Eddy LNM, Bakhoum N, Sanon A, Diouf D, Ourèye M, Baudoin E, Noba K, Prin Y (2012) Changes in land use system and environmental factors affect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal density and diversity, and enzyme activities in rhizospheric soils of Acacia senegal (L.) Willd. ISRN Ecol 2012:1–13. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Noulekoun F, Birhane E, Chude S, Zenebe A (2017) Characterization of Faidherbia albida (Del.) A. Chev. population in agroforestry parklands in the highlands of Northern Ethiopia: impact of conservation, environmental factors and human disturbances. Agroforest Syst 91:123–135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Olsen SR, Sommers LE (1982) Phosphorus. In: Page AL (ed) Methods of soil analysis, part 2 chemical and microbiological properties. ASA Monograph, Madison, pp 403–430Google Scholar
  53. Onguene NA, Kuyper TW (2005) Growth response of three native timber species to soils with different arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculum potentials in South Cameroon: indigenous inoculum and effect of addition of grass inoculum. For Ecol Manag 210(1–3):283–290. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Onguene NA, Ngonkeu LEM, Kuyper TW (2011) Growth response of Pterocarpus soyauxii and Lophira alata seedlings to host soil mycorrhizal inocula in relation to land use types. Afr J Microbiol Res 5(17):2391–2398. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ortas I (2015) Comparative analyses of Turkey agricultural soils: potential communities of indigenous and exotic mycorrhiza species’ effect on maize (Zea mays L.) growth and nutrient uptakes. Eur J Soil Biol 69:79–87. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Pande M, Tarafdar JC (2004) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal diversity in neem-based agroforestry systems in Rajasthan. Appl Soil Ecol 26(3):233–241. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pellegrino E, Bosco S, Ciccolini V, Pistocchi C, Sabbatini T, Silvestri N, Bonari E (2015) Agriculture, ecosystems and environment agricultural abandonment in Mediterranean reclaimed peaty soils: long-term effects on soil chemical properties, arbuscular mycorrhizas and CO 2 flux. Agr Ecosyst Environ 199:164–175. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Perner H, Schwarz D, Bruns C, Mäder P, George E (2007) Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and two levels of compost supply on nutrient uptake and flowering of pelargonium plants. Mycorrhiza 17:469–474. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  59. Petersen A, Oberwinkler F (2006) Arbuscular mycorrhizae from arid parts of Namibia. J Arid Environ 64(2):221–237. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Ruiz-lozano JM, Marulanda A, Azco R (2003) Contribution of six arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal isolates to water uptake by Lactuca sativa plants under drought stress. Physiol Plant 119:526–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sanders F, Sheirh N (1983) The development of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection in plant root systems. Plant Soil 71(2):223–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. SAS (2002) User’s Guide: Statistics Version 9.00. SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  63. Seckbach J, Grube M (2010) Symbioses and stress. Springer, The NetherlandsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Seyoum Y, Birhane E, Hagazi N, Esmael N, Mengistu T, Kassa H (2015) Enhancing the role of forestry in building climate resilient green economy in Ethiopia: scaling up effective forest management practices in Tigray National Regional State with emphasis on area exclosures. Center for International Forestry Research. Ethiopia Office. Addis Ababa. October 2015, p 46.
  65. Smith SE, Read DJ (2008) Mycorrhizal symbiosis. Soil Sci Soc Am J 137. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Stevens KJ, Wall CB, Janssen JA (2011) Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on seedling growth and development of two wetland plants, Bidens frondosa L., and Eclipta prostrata (L.) L., grown under three levels of water availability. Mycorrhiza 21:279–288. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  67. Taffouo VD, Ngwene B (2014) Influence of phosphorus application and arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation on growth, foliar nitrogen mobilization, and phosphorus partitioning in cowpea plants. Mycorrhiza 24(5):361–368. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  68. Van Ranst E, Verloo M, Demeyer A, Pauwels JM (1999) Manual for the soil chemistry and fertility laboratory: analytical methods for soils and plants, equipments and management of consumables. University of Gent, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  69. Van Reeuwijk LP (1995) Procedures for soil analysis, 5th ed. In: Technical Paper 9, International Soil Reference & Information Centre (ISRIC), Wageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  70. Varma A, Kharkwal AC (2009) Symbiotic fungi: principle and practice. Springer, Berlin. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Wright SHA, Berch SM, Berbee ML (2009) The effect of fertilization on the below-ground diversity and community composition of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). Mycorrhiza 19(4):267–276. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  72. Xie XY, Weng BS, Cai BP, Dong YR, Yan CL (2014) Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal inoculation and phosphorus supply on the growth and nutrient uptake of Kandelia obovata (Sheue, Liu & Yong) seedlings in autoclaved soil. Appl Soil Ecol 75:162–171. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Northeast Forestry University and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emiru Birhane
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Mengsteab Hailemariam
    • 1
  • Girmay Gebresamuel
    • 1
  • Tesfay Araya
    • 2
    • 6
  • Kiros Meles Hadgu
    • 4
  • Lindsey Norgrove
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Land Resources Management and Environmental ProtectionMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Dryland Crop and Horticultural SciencesMekelle UniversityMekelleEthiopia
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource ManagementNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  4. 4.World Agroforestry Center, ILRI CampusAddis AbabaEthiopia
  5. 5.School of Agricultural, Forest and Food SciencesBern University of Applied SciencesZollikofenSwitzerland
  6. 6.Department of AgronomyUniversity of Fort HareAliceSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations