- Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
The application of mycorrhizal fungi and organic fertilisers in horticultural potting soils to improve water use efficiency of crops
Eulenstein, Frank; Tauschke, Marion; Behrendt, Axel; Monk, Jana; Schindler, Uwe; Lana, Marcos; Monk, Shaun
In recent years, the addition of microorganisms such as Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) and mycorrhiza are becoming more popular, both in research as well as in practical use. While inoculants are usually not necessary for plants cultivated outdoors on biologically active soil, they can be useful on sterile substrates, newly created artiﬁcial landscapes, and also in soils that have been managed using non-selective sterilization methods, such as fumigation. In a multi-year lysimeter experiment, we investigated the inﬂuence of a commercial mycorrhizal inoculum on water use efﬁciency and biomass production of maize (Zea mays), sunﬂower (Helianthus annuus), sweet clover (Melilotus ofﬁcinalis), sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), cup-plant (Silphium perfoliatum) and tall wheatgrass (Elymus elongatus subsp. ponticus cv. Szarvasi-1) when exposed to high or low ground-water levels. Results showed that all plants beneﬁted from the mycorrhizal association. Mycorrhizal-inoculated plants were more successful in terms of dry matter production and water use than the non-mycorrhizal plants. The source of the mycorrhiza—autochthonous or introduced—made no signiﬁcant difference. The results indicate that inoculation with mycorrhiza and promotion of the naturally abundant mycorrhiza in agricultural production systems can signiﬁcantly contribute to a sustainable production of crops. Effects depended on plant species, cultivar, soil type, ground-water level and the mycotrophy of the individual crop species.
2017, Volume: 3, number: 1, article number: 8
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