Original Paper

Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 160-165

First online:

Endomycorrhizae in a newly cultivated acidic meadow: Effects of three years of barley cropping, tillage, lime, and phosphorus on root colonization and soil infectivity

  • Chantal HamelAffiliated withNatural Resource Sciences Department and Plant Science Department, Macdonald College
  • , Yolande DalpéAffiliated withCentre for Land and Biological Resources Research, Agriculture Canada
  • , Claude LapierreAffiliated withStation de Recherches, Agriculture Canada
  • , Régis R. SimardAffiliated withStation de Recherches, Agriculture Canada
  • , Donald L. SmithAffiliated withNatural Resource Sciences Department and Plant Science Department, Macdonald College

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The dynamics of mycorrhizae under disturbance created by crop production is not well understood. A 3-year experiment was undertaken on a nutrient-poor and acidic land that had last been cultivated in the early 1970s. We observed the effects of cropping spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) under four P-fertilizer levels and four levels of lime, in a minimum (rototillage), a reduced (chisel), or a conventional tillage system, on the mycorrhizal receptiveness of the host (maximum level of mycorrhizal colonization, as measured at harvest) and soil infectivity most probable number method. The host receptiveness decreased with time, while crop yields and soil infectivity increased simultaneously with time. Liming increased mycorrhizal colonization of barley roots and soil infectivity. P additions decreased root colonization but did not significantly affect the most probable number valuse. Slightly higher soil infectivity estimates were found under reduced tillage.

Key words

Hordeum vulgare Agricultural ecosystem Acidic soil Soil infectivity Endomycorrhizae Reduced tillage Rhizosphere