Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Environmental Sciences


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Stephen Wagner

Second Advisor

Kenneth Farrish

Third Advisor

Carmen Montana-Schalk


In 2008, Galveston Island was severely impacted by Hurricane Ike, resulting in high salt deposition in the soil and groundwater. This caused a loss of many native plant species. A study was initiated to determine effective ways to promote the growth conditions of three bald cypress genotypes (Taxodium distichum var distichum and Taxodium distichum var mexicanum crosses) in salt-affected soils. The treatments applied were mycorrhizae inoculation, fertilizer application, and a combination of mycorrhizae inoculation and fertilizer application. A total of sixty (60) trees planted in plots of three rows and divided into five randomized replication blocks of four treatments each were used. Plants were measured for total height and diameter at breast height (DBH), and tree leaf nutrient concentration over the 2021 growing season. The effect of these treatments on soil health was determined by measuring the soil microbial functional diversity and soil respiration.

None of the three treatments had a significant effect on height, diameter breast height, leaf nutrient concentration, soil microbial functional diversity, or soil respiration. This could be because of the limited spacing between the trees and the age of the trees. However, treatment with mycorrhizae alone and a combination of mycorrhizae and fertilizer showed the potential to improve the tree height and the DBH.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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