Influence of pulse crops on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a durum-based cropping system
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Pulses are an important component in crop rotations in southern Saskatchewan. Besides their capability to fix nitrogen, pulse crops establish a symbiotic relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which have been shown to increase nutrient and water uptake through hyphal extensions in the soil. This 2 year study is designed to evaluate the impact of pulses in crop rotations on the biodiversity of AMF communities and their dynamics. Plant N and P uptake and the available soil N and P pools under a durum crop are also measured to assess if there is any correlation with AMF communities. The sampling and analysis is completed on the durum phase of the rotation with preceding crops of pea, lentil, chickpea, canola and durum. The final results will be explained by: (1) the size, nature, and physiological state of the soil microbial community and (2) the nature of the preceding crop residues. Preliminary results from the 2004 season indicate that higher plant P uptake is related to AMF colonization, while no significant change was detected in the soil N and P pools.
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