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INTER-SITU RESTORATION AND THE USE OF WHOLE SOIL INOCULA TO REHABILITATE THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN PLANT, CYRTANDRA KAULANTHA
|Title:||INTER-SITU RESTORATION AND THE USE OF WHOLE SOIL INOCULA TO REHABILITATE THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED HAWAIIAN PLANT, CYRTANDRA KAULANTHA|
|Contributors:||Evensen, Carl I. (advisor)|
Natural Resources and Environmental Management (department)
show 3 moreplant-microbe interactions
whole soil inoculation
|Publisher:||University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa|
|Abstract:||As native plant habitat continues to degrade, alternative restoration practices need to be methodically evaluated. Inter-situ restoration can be used as a platform to identify best practices for rehabilitating endangered plant species in novel ecosystems. In this study, we explore the use of whole soil inoculation in the greenhouse as a low-cost technique for enhancing the survivorship and growth of the Hawaiian species, Cyrtandra kaulantha, when outplanted at an inter-situ restoration site. Symbioses between terrestrial plants and soil microbiota are common across most genera and are considered beneficial to plant growth, however, such relationships are rarely studied in endangered flora. Thus, we used whole soil inoculation techniques to test these potential benefits. Cyrtandra kaulantha individuals were propagated from cuttings and grown in 1 of 5 soil treatments in the greenhouse: sterilized control media; whole soil inoculum from the native reference site; whole soil inoculum from the inter-situ restoration site; a phosphate amendment; and a mixed trial of the inter-situ soil and phosphate. After 10 weeks in the greenhouse, root samples were collected and stained for mycorrhizal colonization and Cyrtandra kaulantha individuals were outplanted. Morphological measurements (i.e., height, stem diameter, leaf area, leaf number) and survivorship data were collected monthly for each individual. Root staining analysis showed evidence of colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae in individuals grown in the inter-situ whole soil inoculum after the greenhouse trial. There were no significant differences in morphological measurements by treatment after the 12-month field trial. Differences in survival rates by treatment approached significance, with both whole soil treatment groups demonstrating trends towards higher survival rates during the field study. Based on these results, it is possible that interactions between whole soil inocula and Cyrtandra kaulantha may have impacted initial survivorship and establishment. If supported by further research, whole soil inoculation could be a low cost method to increase the success of restoring rare plant species to novel ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. Inter-situ restoration techniques are a valuable way to empirically test best practices for the restoration of endangered species.|
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|Appears in Collections:||
M.S. - Natural Resources and Environmental Managament|
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