Plant and Soil

, Volume 218, Issue 1–2, pp 137–144 | Cite as

The effect of agricultural practices on the development of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. I. Field studies in an Indonesian ultisol

  • C.L. Boddington
  • J.C. Dodd


Two pre-established agricultural field trials were assessed for the abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the soil (density of spores, species richness and lengths of extra-radical mycelium [ERM]) in association with one of three tropical plant species (Gliricidia sepium, Peltophorum dasyrachis and Zea mays). The trials were managed by one of three agricultural practices: soil disturbance in a monoculture system, a root barrier to prevent interactions between plants in an agroforestry system or the addition of organic matter (OM) in an agroforestry and a monoculture system. The lengths of ERM of AMF in the soil were greater in the agroforestry system than the monoculture system. These were greater when a root barrier was present, but decreased when OM was added. Soil disturbance reduced the density of spores, species richness and the lengths of ERM of AMF compared with the undisturbed soil. This work indicates that agricultural trials may provide a useful tool to monitor the abundance of AMF in the field. Clearly, there is potential to increase the abundance of AMF, from different genera, in the soil through the management of agricultural practices. The significance of the abundance of AMF for subsequent benefits to plant growth and development and ultimately the sustainability of tropical agro-ecosystems are discussed.

agricultural practices extra-radical mycelium Gliricidia sepium organic matter addition Peltophorum dasyrachis soil disturbance species richness of AMF Zea mays 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • C.L. Boddington
    • 1
  • J.C. Dodd
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Soil Science and Plant NutritionWageningen Agricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.International Institute of Biotechnology – Biotechnology MIRCEN Department of BiosciencesUniversity of Kent CampusCanterbury, KentUK

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