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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Wheat Responses to Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungal Inoculation of Soils from Eroded Toposequence


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 59 No. 4, p. 1086-1090
    Received: June 28, 1994

    * Corresponding author(s): pan@wsuvml.csc.wsu.edu
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  1. M. J. Mohammad,
  2. W. L. Pan  and
  3. A. C. Kennedy
  1. Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State Univ., and USDA-ARS, Pullman, WA 99164-6420



Low fertility of eroded soils is often attributed to the loss of topsoil, an important source of nutrients for microorganisms and plants. Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi are known to improve nutrient uptake by plants from infertile soil. The objective of this study was to determine whether wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) responses to VAM fungal inoculation differ among eroded and noneroded soils from the same toposequence. Spring wheat plants were grown under growth chamber conditions in soils collected from three landscape positions of a typical toposequence in eastern Washington, with and without VAM fungal inoculation. Noninoculated soils exhibited 13 to 26% VAM root colonization, while inoculation increased VAM colonization up to 49 to 55% by 5 wk after planting. The VAM fungal inoculation of eroded soils increased shoot dry weight and tiller number, advanced the leaf stage, and increased root length compared with the noninoculated controls. Shoot concentrations of P and Zn were increased by VAM inoculation. In contrast, shoot concentrations of Cu and Mn were unchanged, while Fe was decreased. While VAM fungal inoculation also increased P, Zn, and Cu concentrations in water-stressed plants, Mn and Fe concentrations decreased. No responses to VAM fungal inoculation were observed in soil from a noneroded toeslope, although VAM colonization was similar to that observed in the eroded soils. These results indicate the potential role of VAM fungi for improving dryland wheat productivity on eroded soils.

Washington State Univ. Crop and Soil Sciences Departmental Paper no. 9502-11.

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