Comparing the effectiveness of native and commercial mycorrhizal fungi in establishing and colonizing plants in an urban prairie habitat in Chicago

Prairie restorations are less diverse than remnant prairies, partly because some species are difficult to establish. Restoring soil microbes may increase success of prairie restorations. A prairie habitat in Chicago was designed to investigate whether adding mycorrhizal fungi to soil improves survival and growth of prairie plants in a restoration. Seedlings of four species of prairie plants were inoculated with one of three types of inoculum (uninoculated soil, fungi from remnant prairies, or fungi sold commercially). These "nurse plants" were transplanted into plots. Presentation by Sarah Richardson of DePaul University.