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    Description

    The invasion of Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) has been documented in disturbed landscapes leading to biodiversity loss and degradation of ecosystem function. Ailanthus interferes with the restoration of native species by its aggressive growth habit, alteration of nutrient cycles, and allelopathic chemical production. Recent studies suggest that allelopathy has a negative effect on the growth of red oak (Quercus rubra), possibly by interfering with the symbiosis of beneficial ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM). This fungal symbiont is essential for healthy tree growth and the unavailability of these fungi may impede the success of seedling regeneration. This study investigated the effects of Ailanthus on biomass production and ectomycorrhizal fungal (ECM) colonization of red oak (Q. rubra) seedlings on a reclaimed coal mine site in eastern Ohio. Six plots were designated in an existing riparian buffer zone in a wetland at The Wilds Conservation Center in Muskingum County. Three of the plots were in an area where mature Ailanthus was present. The other three plots were located in the same riparian zone that was without Ailanthus. Naturally regenerating two-year-old red oak seedlings were selected for study (10 seedlings per plot, 60 seedlings total).

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    Citation

    Bauman, Jenise M.; Byrne, Caitlin; Hiremath, Shiv. 2013. Ailanthus altissima interfers with beneficial symbionts and negetively impacts oak regeneration. Journal American Society of Mining and Reclamation. 2(1): 1-16.

    Keywords

    native tree generation, riparian buffer restoration

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