The intense exploitation of coal deposits in Southern Brazil has caused severe degradation problems in extensive areas. In order to recover such areas, the use of revegetation with species adapted to disturbed environments and with the capacity to establish mutual relationships with microorganisms have been of great value. The objective of this study is to characterize plant-root symbioses in two grass-legume (Calopogonium mucunoides with Brachiaria decumbens and Vicia sativa with Brachiaria decumbens) consortia inoculated with soil of the Carboniferous Basin in the state of Santa Catarina. Areas evaluated were at different stages of land reclamation and the influence of those consortia on the occurrence of rhizobia, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and in the community of endophytic bacteria were evaluated. The study was done in two independent experiments in a completely randomized design, with five replications; done under greenhouse condition. There were seven treatments - five inoculated (with soil obtained from areas of 2, 4, 6 and 12 years of recovery, and a reference area) and two control treatments without inoculation (with low and high concentrations of mineral nitrogen). After 50 days of implantation, soil and plant material were collected to characterize root symbioses by nodule counting, nitrogen fixing bacteria isolation, mycorrhizal occurrence (%), and characterization of root endophytic bacterial communities. Only the calopogonium-brachiaria consortium was able to nodulate with rhizobia from the recovering coal mining areas. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and endophytic bacteria occur in the vetch-brachiaria and calopogonium-brachiaria consortia regardless of the time of recovery. The microbial communities present in soils with different stages of recovery are more efficient in promoting plant growth in the calopogonium-brachiaria consortium and this behavior may be associated with the calopogonium's ability to associate with autochthonous rhizobia.
Key words: Environmental recovery, revegetation, plant-growth-promoting, rhizobia, arbuscular mycorrhiza.
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