ARBUSCULAR MYCORRHIZAL FUNGI INOCULATION PROMOTES GROWTH OF VEGETATION IN REFUSE DUMP SOILS OF OPEN CAST MINE FIELDA. MUTHUKUMAR, SANDHYA G M., MAMATHA N. AND DAKSHAYINI G.
Removal of soil from natural forest during open cast mining operation leads to severe disturbances not only to the local ecosystem also to livability of people. Reforestation is becoming a challenging task in post-open cast mine land as trees struggle to survive in refuse mine dump soils. Use of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can increase vegetation growth in disturbed soils. A study was conducted at refuse dump soils of Ballari, India. The objective was to investigate the effect of AM fungi in vegetation growth in the refuse dump soils. Twenty species were selected based on their ecological values viz., medicinal properties, firewood, fruits and shelter for birds etc. The saplings were inoculated with native AM fungi and maintained under nursery conditions for twelve months. The seedlings were observed for their growth characters by measuring height and collar diameter at regular intervals of every 3rd, 6th and 12th month. AM inoculated seedlings showed a greater increase in height than the control or non-inoculated seedlings. The increase in growth was three times in Syzygiumcumini, Thespesiapopulnea, Grevillearobusta and Holoptelaintegrifolia and two times in Mangiferaindica, Cordiaoblique, Tectonagrandis, Swieteniamahogany, Azadirachtaindica, Ficusbenghalensis, Ficusreligiosa and Phyllanthusemblica. Enhancement of collar diameter was three times in Thespesia populnea, A. indica, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus religiosa, Syzygiumcumini, Holoptela integrifolia and Grevillea robusta. The observation on establishment and survival rate of transplanted species like Tamarindus indica, Butea monosperma, Phyllanthus emblica and Cordia obliquato the main field was better when compared to other species. The study thus indicates the need and beneficial effect of AM fungi as growth promoters for tree species in refuse dump soils of opencast coal mine land.