Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 165–175 | Cite as

Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza effects on Gliricidia sepium and Senna siamea in a fallowed alley cropping system

  • I. E. Okon
  • O. Osonubi
  • N. Sanginga


Nitrogen fixing and non-N2 fixing legumes such as Gliricidia speium and Senna siamea have been used in alley cropping systems for soil improvement and source of N for food crops. However their establishments could be limited by P and moisture deficiencies in degraded soils. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi can help to overcome these deficiencies. We examined the effects of a vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungus, Glomus deserticola, on the performance of sole hedgerow trees of Gliricidia sepium and Senna siamea and their mixtures (interplanted) in a fallowed alley cropping experiment on a degraded Alfisol in southwestern Nigeria. Percentage root infection by VAM fungi was higher in inoculated plants than in uninoculated ones irrespective of whether they were interplanted or non-interplanted. Inoculation with G. deserticola increased dry matter accumulation and nutrient uptake (N. P, Mg and K) but there was no significant interaction between mycorrhizal inoculation and interplanting for growth and nutrient uptake except for the uptake of P, Mg and K in G. sepium. Inoculation with G. deserticola reduced leaf shedding of G. sepium by 50% but did not have the same effect for S. siamea. For both tree species inoculated plants extracted more water from 0–30 cm depth than the uninoculated ones.

Key words

tree legumes nutrient uptake VAM inoculation Glomus deserticola water extraction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atayese MO, Awotoye OO, Osonubi O and Mulongoy K (1993) Comparisons of the influence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza on the productivity of hedgerow woody legumes and cassava the top and the base of a hillslope under alley cropping systems. Biol Fertil Soils 16; 198–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Azcon-Aguilar C and Barea JM (1992) Interaction between mycorrhiza fungi and other rhizosphere micro-organisms. In: Allen MF (ed) Mycorrhizal Functioning? An Integrative Plant-fungal Process, pp 168–198. Chapman and Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bethlenfalvay GJ, Brown MS, Ames RN and Thomas RS (1988) Effects of drought on host and endophyte development in mycorrhizal soybeans in relation to water use and phosphate uptake. Physiol Plant 72: 565–571Google Scholar
  4. Fitter AH (1988) Water relations of clover Trifolium pratense L., as affected by VA mycorrhizal colonization of phosphorus supply before and during drought. J Exp Bot 39: 595–603Google Scholar
  5. Giovanetti M and Mosse B (1980) An evaluation of techniques for measuring vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection in roots. New Phytol 84: 489–500Google Scholar
  6. Graham JH, Syvertsen JP and Smith ML (1987) Water relations of mycorrhizal and phosphorus — fertilized non-mycorrhizal citrus under drought stress. New Phytol 105: 411–419Google Scholar
  7. Ho I and Trappe JM (1975) Nitrate reducing capacity of two vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Mycologia 67: 886–888PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Huang RS, Smith WK and Yost RS (1985) Influence of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza on growth, water relations and leaf orientation in Leucaenea leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit. New Phytol 99: 229–243Google Scholar
  9. Kang BT, Reynolds L and Atta-Krah AN (1990) Alley farming. Advances in Agron 43: 315–359Google Scholar
  10. Kang BT and Wilson GF (1987) The development of alley cropping as a promising agroforestry technology. In: Steppler HA and Nair PKR (eds) Agroforestry: A Decade of Development, pp 227–243. ICRAF, Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  11. Kothari SK, Marschner H and Romheld V (1991) Contribution of the VA mycorrhizal hypae in aquisition of phosphorus and zinc by maize grown in a calcareous soil. Plant Soil 131: 171–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mohan R and Blane K (1985) Statistical Programmes for Micro-computers. University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USAGoogle Scholar
  13. Mosse B (1977) The role of mycorrhiza in legume nutrition on marginal soils. In: Vincent et al. (eds) Exploiting the Legume — Rhizobium Symbiosis in Tropical Agriculture, pp 275–292. University of Hawaii, Niftal ProjectGoogle Scholar
  14. Nelsen CE and Safir GR (1982) Increased drought tolerance of mycorrhizal onion plants caused by improved phosphorus nutrition. Planta 154: 407–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Newman EI, Eason WR, Eissenstat DM and Ramos MIRF (1992) Interactions between plants: The role of mycorrhizae. Mycorrhiza 1: 47–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Osonubi O, Bakare ON and Mulongoy K (1992) Interactions between drought stress and vesicular — arbuscular mycorrhiza on the growth of Faidherbia albida (syn. Acacia albida) and Acacia nilotica in sterile and non-sterile soils. Bio Fertil Soils 14: 159–165Google Scholar
  17. Osonubi O, Mulongoy K, Awotoye OO, Atayese MO and Okali DUU (1991) Effects of ectomycorrhizal and vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on drought tolerance of four leguminous woody seedlings. Plant Soil 136: 131–143Google Scholar
  18. Ruhigwa BA Gichuru MP, Mbambani B and Tariah NM (1992) Root distribution of Acioa barteri, Alchornea cordifola, Cassia siamea and Gmelina arborea in an acid Utisol. Agrofor Syst 19: 67–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Smith SE and Daft MJ (1977) Interactions between growth, phosphate content and nitrogen fixation in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal Medicago sativa. Aust J Plant Physiol 4: 403–413Google Scholar
  20. Smith SE, Smith FA and Nicholas DJD (1981) Effects of endomycorrhizal infection on phosphate and cation uptake by Trifolium subterraneum. Plant Soil 63: 57–64Google Scholar
  21. Sanginga N, Vanlauwe B and Danso SKA (1995) Management of biological N2 fixation in alley cropping systems: Estimation and contribution to N balance. Plant Soil 174: 119–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Trappe JM, Bloss HE and Menge JA (1984) Glomus deserticola sp. nov. Mycotaxon 20: 123–127Google Scholar
  23. Van Noordwijk M, Dommergues YR (1990) Root nodulation: The twelfth hypothesis. Agrofor Today 2: 9–10Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. E. Okon
    • 1
  • O. Osonubi
    • 1
  • N. Sanginga
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Botany and MicrobiologyUniversity of IbadanIbadan
  2. 2.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)IbadanNigeria

Personalised recommendations