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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Blueberry-Soil interactions from an organic perspective

Caspersen S, Svensson B, Hakansson T, Winter C, Khalil S, Asp H


Demand for organic blueberries has risen in response to consumers' interest in healthy eating and greater awareness of the environment. Although organic production systems share many challenges with conventional systems, they have specific limitations and questions. Synchronisation of plant nutrient demand with the release of mineral nutrients from organic nutrient sources presents a particular challenge for the organic grower. In this paper we address belowground challenges in blueberry production from an organic perspective, such as soil properties and amendments as well as the choice of mulching material and organic fertilisers. We also address potential toxicity problems for blueberries associated with high concentrations of aluminium and manganese as well as salt stress. Symbiosis with ericoid mycorrhizal fungi is of potential interest in organic blueberry production as the fungi may improve plant access to nutrients from organic sources. The effects of management factors and limitations associated with the commercial utilisation of the symbiosis are also discussed.


Ericoid mycorrhiza; Organic amendment; Organic fertilizer; Plant nutrition; Review; Vaccinium

Published in

Scientia Horticulturae
2016, Volume: 208, number: SI, pages: 78-91