Browsing by Author "Westerling, Kim"

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  • Westerling, Kim (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    In Finland most of the accumulated phosphorus in the agricultural soils is underutilized and at the same time excess phosphorus in soil is susceptible to leaching. Arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) has the potential to promote plant phosphorus nutrition and growth, and reduce nutrient leaching. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mycorrhizal symbiosis on plant growth and phosphorus nutrition with three different fertilization management practices. The influence of fertilization management history on field AMF population was also studied. To relate the impact on AM to impacts on other soil quality aspects, the effect of the fertilization rates on crop growth and indicators of soil functioning was evaluated. Long term field experiments established in 1965-66 on three sites in Northern Sweden were utilized. Six years’ rotation either with five grass years and a barley year or barley monoculture was treated with recommended (NPK) and double the recommended (2NPK) rate of mineral fertilisation or with farmyard manure (FYM) with a nutrient amount corresponding to the NPK –treatment for 32 years. The effect of three long term practices on the potential AM contribution to crop phosphorus nutrition and growth was studied in a bioassay. To study the impact of longterm management practices on functional properties of AMF, the sterilised soil from the field plots of NPK and FYM treatments was re- and cross-inoculated (5 v-%) with untreated field soil from each of the same treatments. Crop yields were measured in the field and field soil quality was assessed. Benefit from AM in terms of crop phosphorus nutrition and growth was greatest when manure was applied while there were no differences among the mineral fertiliser treatments. There were no statistically significant differences in the bioassay with re- and cross-inoculations. Grass and barley yields were highest when mineral NPK fertiliser was applied at double the recommended rate. Crop performed equally well or better in terms of yield with manure compared to a corresponding nutrient amount in mineral fertilizers. Manure applications seemed to increase soil carbon and nitrogen contents relative to the recommended amount of NPK, yet keeping the plant-available phosphorus concentration liable for leaching at a similarly low level. Thus, enhanced recycling of nutrients through use of farmyard manure to replace mineral NPK fertilisation favoured reliance on AM in phosphorus nutrition of crops with no trade-off in yields, simultaneously enhancing soil quality.