Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (11): 1028-1034.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00106

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Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on calorific value and contents of carbon and ash in Robinia pseudoacacia

ZHU Xiao-Qin1,WANG Chun-Yan2,SHENG Min2,CHEN Hui2,TANG Ming2,*()   

  1. 1College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
    2College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
  • Received:2013-06-26 Accepted:2013-09-12 Online:2013-06-26 Published:2013-11-06
  • Contact: TANG Ming


Aims It is still unknown whether arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi could increase calorific value and carbon content in plants. Our objectives in this study were to (1) determine the effects of two AM fungi, Glomus intraradices and G. versiforme, on biomass, calorific value, carbon content, and ash content in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) seedlings; and (2) assess the effectiveness of G. intraradices and G. versiforme in affecting biomass and energy accumulation in black locust.
Methods Three treatments were performed: black locust seedlings, including inoculations of seedlings with G. intraradices, G. versiforme, respectively, and no inoculum as control. Seedlings were grown in a greenhouse for 14 months following treatments, and then their biomass, gross calorific value, carbon content, and ash content of the roots, stems, and leaves were measured. Ash-free calorific value, energy accumulation, and carbon accumulation were calculated.
Important findings We found that inoculations with the two AM fungi increased the biomass, calorific value, and carbon content in black locust seedlings. The accumulations of biomass, energy, and carbon were 89.61%, 102.20%, and 93.30% greater in black locust seedlings inoculated with G. intraradices, and 91.34%, 94.19% and 77.21% greater in those inoculated with G. versiforme, respectively, than the controls. Both calorific value and carbon content were the highest in seedlings inoculated with G. intraradices; and the gross calorific value of roots, stems and leaves were 7.72%, 8.94%, 8.41% higher, respectively, in seedlings inoculated with G. intraradices than the controls. Glomus intraradices was found to be more effective than G. versiforme in enhancing calorific value and accumulation of energy and carbon.

Key words: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, ash content, black locust, calorific value, carbon content