Influence of land use on ectomycorrhizal inoculum potential and competitivity of Tuber melanosporum ectomycorrhizas: assessment through greenhouse biassays
AbstractBlack truffle (Tuber melanosporum Vitt) is an agro-forest resource with great development potentiality in Mediterranean calcareous mountains. In this study, we analyse the ectomycorrhizal inoculum potential of the soil and the competitiveness of Tuber melanosporum ectomycorrhizas to this inoculum in the different land uses present in a truffle-producing region with the aim of assessing their suitability for establishing truffle orchards. Soil samples collected from forests, croplands and wastelands in El Toro (Valencian Region, eastern Spain) were used to perform four greenhouse bioassays. Forest soils showed the highest ectomycorrhizal inoculum potential and produced the highest contamination levels in the mycorrhized seedlings; they were thus considered the least suitable for new truffle plantations. Greenhouse bioassays are found to be a useful methodology for studying the target variables as long as care is taken to both prevent nursery contamination and adjust the culture to the plant species.
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