In organic agriculture, soil fertility and productivity rely on biological processes carried out by soil microbes, which represent the key elements of agroecosystem functioning. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), fundamental microorganisms for soil fertility, plant nutrition and health, may play an important role in organic agriculture by compensating for the reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides. Though, AMF activity and diversity following conversion from conventional to organic farming are poorly investigated. Here we studied AMF abundance, diversity and activity in short- and long-term organically and conventionally managed Mediterranean arable agroecosystems. Our results show that both AMF population activity, as assessed by the mycorrhizal inoculum potential (MIP) assay, the percentage of colonized root length of the field crop (maize) and glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) content were higher in organically managed fields and increased with time since transition to organic farming. Here, we showed an increase of GRSP content in arable organic systems and a strong correlation with soil MIP values. The analysis of AMF spores showed differences among communities of the three microagroecosystems in terms of species richness and composition as suggested by a multivariate analysis. All our data indicate that AMF respond positively to the transition to organic farming by a progressive enhancement of their activity that seems independent from the species richness of the AMF communities. Our study contributes to the understanding of the effects of agricultural managements on AMF, which represent a promising tool for the implementation of sustainable agriculture.

Mycorrhizal activity and diversity in a long-term organic Mediterranean agroecosystem

BEDINI, STEFANO;Avio L.;TURRINI, ALESSANDRA;GIOVANNETTI, MANUELA
2013

Abstract

In organic agriculture, soil fertility and productivity rely on biological processes carried out by soil microbes, which represent the key elements of agroecosystem functioning. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), fundamental microorganisms for soil fertility, plant nutrition and health, may play an important role in organic agriculture by compensating for the reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides. Though, AMF activity and diversity following conversion from conventional to organic farming are poorly investigated. Here we studied AMF abundance, diversity and activity in short- and long-term organically and conventionally managed Mediterranean arable agroecosystems. Our results show that both AMF population activity, as assessed by the mycorrhizal inoculum potential (MIP) assay, the percentage of colonized root length of the field crop (maize) and glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP) content were higher in organically managed fields and increased with time since transition to organic farming. Here, we showed an increase of GRSP content in arable organic systems and a strong correlation with soil MIP values. The analysis of AMF spores showed differences among communities of the three microagroecosystems in terms of species richness and composition as suggested by a multivariate analysis. All our data indicate that AMF respond positively to the transition to organic farming by a progressive enhancement of their activity that seems independent from the species richness of the AMF communities. Our study contributes to the understanding of the effects of agricultural managements on AMF, which represent a promising tool for the implementation of sustainable agriculture.
Bedini, Stefano; Avio, L.; Sbrana, C.; Turrini, Alessandra; Migliorini, P.; Vazzana, C.; Giovannetti, Manuela
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/208019
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