Get access

In Vitro Selection of Boreal Ectomycorrhizal Fungi for Use in Reclamation of Saline-Alkaline Habitats

Authors

  • G. Kernaghan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H1
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 2

      Current address: Groupe de recherche en écologie forestière interuniversitaire, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888 succ. A, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3C 3P8

  • B. Hambling,

    1. Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H1
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. Fung,

    1. Syncrude Canada Ltd., Environmental Affairs Department, P. O. Bag 4009, M. D. 0078, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, T9H 3L1
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. Khasa

    1. Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2H1
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to G. Kernaghan, email gavink@alcor.concordia.ca

Abstract

To identify appropriate species of ectomycorrhizal fungi for use in the reclamation of saline-alkaline sites, such as the composite tailings (alkaline, with high sodium, sulfate, and calcium) produced by the Canadian tar sands industry, pure cultures of nine fungal species indigenous to the Canadian boreal forest were grown on media containing different levels of CaCl2, CaSO4, NaCl, or Na2SO4, as well as on medium containing composite tailings (CT) release water, and on media at four different pH levels. Members of the Boletales (Suillus brevipes, Rhizopogon rubescens, and Paxillus involutus) and Amphinema byssoides (Aphyllophorales) were sensitive to alkalinity, and their growth was completely inhibited by CT release water. Laccaria and Hebeloma spp. (Agaricales) as well as Wilcoxina mikolae (Pezizales) were tolerant to alkalinity and survived on the medium containing CT release water. Calcium chloride proved to be the most toxic of the salts tested. Growth of seven isolates of Laccaria bicolor and three isolates of Hebeloma crustuliniforme on media containing CaCl2 and release water showed low intraspecific variation. A combination of fungal species, each with its own beneficial characteristics, is recommended for the inoculation of seedlings to be outplanted onto composite tailings.

Ancillary