The use of commercial bacterial soil inoculant regime in an urban prairie restoration

  • Published source details Leonard W.J. & Lyons K.G. (2015) The use of commercial bacterial soil inoculant regime in an urban prairie restoration. Natural Areas Journal, 35, 9-17.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Inoculate soil with mycorrhiza before seeding/planting

Action Link
Grassland Conservation
  1. Inoculate soil with mycorrhiza before seeding/planting

    A controlled study in 2009–2011 in an urban prairie restoration site in San Antonio, Texas, USA (Leonard & Lyons 2015) found that adding soil microbes and nutrients when planting increased cover of two of 38 native prairie species but did not alter overall cover of herbaceous or woody species. Two years after planting, two of 38 native prairie species had higher average cover in the area with microbes and nutrients added (Texas cupgrass Eriochloa sericea: 3.4%; bluegrama Boutouloua gracilis: 2.2%) than in the untreated area (Texas cupgrass: 1.2%; bluegrama: 0.6%). Cover of the other 36 plant species did not differ significantly between areas (see original paper for data). There was also no significant difference in average overall cover of herbaceous plant species (with microbes: 53%; untreated: 56%) and woody species (with microbes: 10%; untreated: 9%). Woody vegetation was cleared from the 9.4-ha site, and in September 2009, grass plugs of seven native species were planted at 4 plants/m2. Half the area was planted with plugs from seeds inoculated with nutrients and a slurry containing 17 microbial strains, at a rate of 1 g slurry/1,600 g seed. The other half of the area was planted with plugs from untreated seeds. The treated plants were also sprayed with fertiliser one month after planting. The whole site was sown with a native prairie seed mix (0.001 kg/m2) before and after planting, and mowed in December 2010. Vegetation cover was surveyed in October 2011 in ten 1 x 1 m quadrats placed along five 50-m transects in the inoculated and untreated areas.

    (Summarised by: Philip Martin)

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