The U.S. Bureau of Mines funded a project that addressed objectives concerning irrigation of native plants and inoculation of native plants with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (vam) fungi. The specific irrigation objectives were (1) to demonstrate the performance capabilities of solid-set irrigation for reclaimed mineland conditions and (2) to demonstrate and evaluate three irrigation concepts under two separate water supply conditions. The vam inoculations were to assess irrigation benefits in establishing vam relationships for transplanted native species. Following the seasonal demonstration (May to September 1983) at three separate minesites, conclusions were made that apply to the six-state western mining industry. The demonstration sites were located in Montana, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Positive conclusions were reached for (1) the use of soil moisture sampling with or without irrigation and (2) the selection of solid-set sprinklers as the irrigation method. The conclusions about the irrigation concepts and strategy were mixed because of the short-term (one season) nature of the project. No conclusions could be reached for the vam inoculations because the study time was too short.
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