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Abstract

Plants colonised by vcsicular-arbuseular tuycorrhizal (VAM) fungi liave been shown to be more efficient in nutrient uptake, to be more drought resistant and to bave enhanced resistance to pests and diseases than non-mycorrhizal plants. VAM fungal spore populations were determined for each of the soil associations in Barbados. Non-mycorrhizal corn (Zea mays), pepper (Capsicum anmiurn) and bean {Phaseoius vulgaris) seedlings were transplanted into soil sampled from each association. The numbers of spores and the levels of mycorrhizal colonisation of the roots of the transplants were greater in the nonagricultural soils. Ulis suggests that agricultural practices are reducing the mycorrhizal potential of soils. These results are discussed in relation to the development of sustainable agricultural practices.

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