The effect of agricultural practices on the development of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. II. Studies in experimental microcosms

  • Boddington C
  • Dodd J
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Abstract

Two glasshouse experiments were performed to assess the development and metabolic activity of mycorrhizas formed by isolates of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from three different genera, Acaulospora, Gigaspora and Glomus on Desmodium ovalifolium L. plants. In the first experiment the effect of disturbance of a preestablished extra-radical mycelium (ERM) was studied. In the second experiment the effect of phosphate addition as either organic matter (OM) or fertiliser was studied. Disturbance of a pre-established ERM reduced the formation of mycorrhizas by Gigaspora rosea (BEG111) and increased that by Glomus manihotis (BEG112) on D. ovalifolium plants. Acaulospora tuberculata (BEG41) failed to form mycorrhizas in the experiment. Either Gi. rosea (BEG111) or G. manihotis (BEG112) appeared to be the major component of the colonisation resulting from treatments with combinations of two or three of the AMF and determined the sensitivity of these treatments to disturbance of a pre-established ERM. The addition of phosphate fertiliser (10 mg P kg1) reduced mycorrhiza formation by each species of AMF compared with the addition of OM (10 mg P kg1). This work indicates that AMF from different genera respond differently to management by agricultural practices when in association with a tropical legume. Clearly, there is potential to alter the formation of mycorrhizas of AMF from different genera, through the use of agricultural practices. The significance of the development and metabolic activity of mycorrhizas formed by AMF from different genera for plant growth is discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • acaulospora
  • agricultural
  • gigaspora
  • glomus
  • organic matter addition
  • soil disturbance

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Authors

  • Cl Boddington

  • John C Dodd

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