Protective effects of Glomus iranicum var. tenuihypharum on soil and Viburnum tinus plants irrigated with treated wastewater under field conditions

23 October 2015

Abstract Currently, irrigation using recycled water is increasing, especially in semiarid environments, but a potential problem of using reclaimed wastewater is its elevated salt levels. The application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) could be a suitable option to mitigate the negative effects produced by the salinity. In this work, the combined effect of Glomus iranicum var. tenuihypharum and two types of water: Control, C, with EC <0.9 dS m−1 and reclaimed water (wastewater previously treated in a sewage treatment plant) with EC 4 dSm−1 during a first saline period (11 weeks) and with EC 6 dS m−1 during a second saline period (25 weeks), was evaluated for laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) plants under field conditions. This plant is a popular shrub very used for gardening. Chemical properties of soil as well as physiological behavior, leaf nutrition, and esthetic value of plants were evaluated. Due to the high salinity from wastewater at 6 dS m−1, laurustinus plants decreased their stem water potential values and, to a lesser extent, the stomatal conductance. Also, the visual quality of the plants was diminished. The inoculated AMF satisfactorily colonized the laurustinus roots and enhanced the structure of the soil by increasing the glomalin and carbon contents. Furthermore, G. iranicum var. tenuihypharum inoculation decreased Na and Cl content, stimulated flowering and improved the stem water potential of the plants irrigated with both types of reclaimed water. The AMF also had a positive effect as a consequence of stimulation of plant physiological parameters, such as the stem water potential and stomatal conductance. Effective AMF associations that avoid excessive salinity could provide wastewater reuse options, especially when the plants grow in soils.

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