The effect of inoculation with a selected isolate of Glomus etunicatum Becker and Gerdemann and one of G. intraradices Schenck and Smith on the growth and nutrient content of Macroptilium atropurpureum Urb. cv. 'Siratro' and Aeschynomene americana L., at applied P levels of 10, 30, 60, and 120 kg ha-1, was studied under field conditions. At all P levels and for all harvests, the shoot dry mass of Siratro and A. americana were greater for the plants inoculated with the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi than the control plants. Differences between the VAM fungus-inoculated and the control plants were most marked between 30 and 90 kg ha-1 of applied P and diminished at 120 kg ha-1. At the first harvest of Siratro, the plants inoculated with G. etunicatum had a greater shoot dry mass than those inoculated with G. intraradices, for all levels of applied P. However, for subsequent harvest of Siratro and for the one harvest of A. americana the response of shoot dry mass to the two VAM fungi was equivocal. Fungal inoculation gave at least a 30% saving in the amount of P fertilizer required (40 kg ha-1) for the maximum yield. The plants inoculated with VAM fungi had a greater tissue concentration and total content of P and N than the control plants at low and intermediate levels of applied P. The percentage of root colonized by VAM fungi for the inoculated plants of the two legumes increased linearly with P additions up to 60 kg ha-1. The conclusion is that under amended (limed and fertilized) soil conditions, inoculation with selected VAM fungi can improve the establishement and growth of forage legumes in fields that contain ineffective populations of native VAM fungi.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Soil Science