Performance of quercus suber L. at nursery stage: application of two bio-inoculants under two distinct environments

Giovânia C. Araújo, Nadine R. Sousa, Miguel A. Ramos, Alberto L. Vega, Paula M. L. Castro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Key message: Despite the fact that the technique of application of bioinoculants improved the quality ofQuercus suberL. seedlings produced in nurseries, these benefits are dependent on the ecological conditions of the site and the composition of the applied inoculum, which interferes with the profile of the local fungal community. Context: Quercus suber L. plays a key ecological and socio-economical role in the Iberian Peninsula. Symbiotic ectomycorrhizal fungi-ECM are crucial partners of several tree species, and assessing the efficacy of bioinoculants at nursery stage helps devising tools to increase plant resilience. Aims: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two inocula formulations of mixed ECM fungi and bacteria on the quality of seedlings produced in two forest nurseries, differing in environmental conditions and forest embedment. Methods: Quercus suber L. seedlings were inoculated with a commercial product containing Pisolithus tinctorius (Pers) Coker & Couch, Scleroderma sp., and six bacterial species and with a non-commercial fungal and bacterial dual inoculum (Suillus granulatus (L.) Roussel + Mesorhizobium sp.). Biometric and nutritional parameters and morphological quality indexes were determined on seedlings. The ECM community was assessed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and cloning-sequencing. Results: In both nurseries, the seedling quality index in inoculated was up to 2-fold higher than in non-inoculated seedlings. Plant biomass differed significantly among nurseries. The inoculum influenced the profile of the fungal community. S. granulatus and P. tinctorius persisted for 6 months in the inoculated seedlings. Conclusion: The nursery ecosystem influenced plant growth. Inoculation treatments increased plant performance; however, the dual inoculum resulted in more consistent improvements of Q. suber at nursery stage, highlighting the importance of inocula selection.
Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Dickson Quality Index
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungi
  • Oak
  • PGPB
  • Suillus granulatus


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