Effect of Mycorrhiza, Zeolite and Superabsorbent on Growth and Primary Establishment of Agropyron desertorum in Mining Field (Case Study: Mashhad′ Shargh Cement Factory, Iran)

Document Type: Research and Full Length Article

Authors

1 Ph.D. Rangeland Sciences, Faculty of Range land and Watershed Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Researcher of Arid Environments Research Center, Correspond Author

2 Rangeland Department, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

3 Professor, Department of Range and Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

4 Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

Abstract

The most important and sensitive level in the modification of rangelands surrounding the mine is the initial seedling establishment of plants, which often faces failure due to adverse environmental conditions, poor soil nutrients, disturbance of soil different layers and its instability and unstable soil around the mines. New methods of rangeland improvement using biological and non-biological materials (zeolite, superabsorbent and mycorrhiza) and strategies may help to establish plants in the soil around abandoned mines. This research aims to investigate the possibility of improving the primary establishment and growth of Agropyron desertorum in mine areas infected with heavy metals. Initially, seeds were sown in paper pots. After two months, pots were treated with Glomus intraradices, zeolite and superabsorbent along with control. Pots were transplanted in the field in semi-arid lands of East Mashhad cement factory using a completely randomized block design with four replicates in 2016. The plants were irrigated only once for the establishment. Data were collected about establishment rate, plant height, the percentage of mycorrhiza root inoculation and shoot, root and total dry weight. The results showed that the application of mycorrhiza, zeolite and superabsorbent increased plant establishment rate (50, 42 and 25%) and root dry weight (62, 72 and 15%) higher than that for control. Application of the mycorrhiza and zeolite treatments increased plant height (44 and 42%), aboveground dry biomass (51 and 61%) and total dry matter biomass (54 and 66%) higher than that for control treatment. The results showed that mycorrhiza and zeolite treatments had the greatest effect on increasing the initial establishment and improving the growth characteristics of A. desertorum. It was concluded that using zeolite and Glomus intraradices may be effective method for the initial establishment of plants in areas contaminated with heavy metals in the mining area in the semi-arid regions.

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