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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2017, Article ID 9731212, 12 pages
Research Article

Soil Metals and Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Associated with American Chestnut Hybrids as Reclamation Trees on Formerly Coal Mined Land

1Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University, Poulsbo, WA 98225, USA
2Environmental Sciences, University of Washington, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA
3Department of Biology, Miami University, 114 Levey Hall, Middletown, OH 45042, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to J. M. Bauman; ude.uww@namuab.esinej

Received 28 July 2017; Accepted 17 October 2017; Published 19 December 2017

Academic Editor: Maria Serrano

Copyright © 2017 J. M. Bauman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hybrid chestnut (Castanea dentata × C. mollissima) has the potential to provide a valuable agroforestry crop on formerly coal mined landscapes. However, the soil interactions of mycorrhizal fungi and buried metals associated with mining are not known. This study examined soil, plant tissue, and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) root colonization on eight-year-old hybrid (BC1F3 and BC2F3) and American chestnuts on a reclaimed coal mine in Ohio, USA. Chestnut trees were measured and ECM colonization on roots was quantified. Leaves, flowers, and soil were analyzed for heavy metals. Differences were not detected among tree types regarding metal accumulation in plant tissue or ECM colonization. BC2F3 hybrids had greater survival and less cankers than American chestnuts ( = 0.006 and <0.0001). Taller trees were associated with greater ECM root colonization and correlated with an increase in Al uptake ( = 0.02 and 0.01). When comparing tissue, manganese and aluminum were in higher concentrations in leaves than flowers, where copper and selenium were significantly higher in floral tissue ( < 0.05). All trees were flowering at this time meriting further examination in nut tissue. Block effects for selenium and zinc indicate the variability in reclaimed soils requiring further monitoring for possible elemental transfer to nut and wood tissue.