, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 139-146

Influence of compaction from wheel traffic and tillage on arbuscular mycorrhizae infection and nutrient uptake by Zea mays

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Abstract

Interactive effects of seven years of compaction due to wheel traffic and tillage on root density, formation of arbuscular mycorrhizae, above-ground biomass, nutrient uptake and yield of corn (Zea mays L.) were measured on a coastal plain soil in eastern Alabama, USA. Tillage and soil compaction treatments initiated in 1987 were: 1) soil compaction from tractor traffic with conventional tillage (C,CT), 2) no soil compaction from tractor traffic with conventional tillage (NC,CT), 3) soil compaction from tractor traffic with no-tillage (C,NT), and, 4) no soil compaction from tractor traffic with no-tillage (NC,NT). The study was arranged as a split plot design with compaction from wheel traffic as main plots and tillage as subplots. The experiment had four replications. In May (49 days after planting) and June, (79 days after planting), root biomass and root biomass infected with arbuscular mycorrhizae was higher in treatments that received the NC,NT treatment than the other three treatments. In June and July (109 days after planting), corn plants that received C,CT treatment had less above-ground biomass, root biomass and root biomass infected with mycorrhizae than the other three treatments. Within compacted treatments, plants that received no-tillage had greater root biomass and root biomass infected with mycorrhizae in May and June than plants that received conventional tillage. Corn plants in no-tillage treatments had higher root biomass and root biomass infected with mycorrhizae than those in conventional tillage. After 7 years of treatment on a sandy Southeastern soil, the interactive effects of tillage and compaction from wheel traffic reduced root biomass and root biomass infected with mycorrhizae but did not affect plant nutrient concentration and yield. ei]J H Graham