Weeds promote the development of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in organic wheat fields

HIROSHI KUBOTA , SYLVIE QUIDEAU , PIERRE HUCL AND DEAN SPANER - ‘Building Organic Bridges’, at the Organic World Congress 2014

Farm Table says:

This paper was able to derive the results from a small scale land area, with a direct approach and easy to understand literature however, taking into consideration, what is the implication of this study if used in a larger scale and more diverse crops.

The Literature Review of the Article:

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) have attracted researchers’ attention due to their ubiquitous distribution and beneficial effects on symbiotic host plants. Phosphorus (P) uptake enhancement is a well-known benefit of AMF. Organic fields tend to have a larger AMF community than conventional fields. Although weed pressure has resulted in an economic loss, some studies have emphasized the importance of aboveground species for maintaining soil mycorrhizal communities under conventional practices. However, the relationship between weeds and AMF under organic management fields is still poorly understood.

The present study was conducted:

  • to understand the role of weeds on the maintenance and promotion of AMF communities
  •  to determine the effect of AMF on wheat grain quality in organically managed fields. Material and methods

The results indicated that the presence of weeds supported a substantial increase in AMF over the growing season. Interestingly, they observed a positive correlation between AMF and weed dry biomass only in the weed-free field. This indicated that the substantial increase in AMF did not occur continuously with the growth of aboveground vegetation. The increase may have reached a marginal point at which symbiotic nutritional exchange became imbalanced due to an intensification of light and nutritional competitions among aboveground spices.

As in a previous study, AMF did not alter wheat grain quality under sufficient soil P conditions (2010:134 kg ha-1, 2011:63 kg ha-1 ). The total aboveground biomass and soil P status are important factors in controlling AMF benefits for host plants.

Further studies on the behavior of AMF at various aboveground crop and weed densities may contribute to the development of efficient organic agricultural practices.

2014 - Canada - HIROSHI KUBOTA , SYLVIE QUIDEAU , PIERRE HUCL AND DEAN SPANER - ‘Building Organic Bridges’, at the Organic World Congress 2014
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