Agricultural Intensification, Soil Biodiversity and Agroecosystem Function in the Tropics: The Role of Mycorrhiza in Crops and Trees.

TitleAgricultural Intensification, Soil Biodiversity and Agroecosystem Function in the Tropics: The Role of Mycorrhiza in Crops and Trees.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsMunyanziza E, Kehri HK, Bagyaraj D
ContactAuthorasb@cgiar.org
JournalApplied Soil Ecology
Volume6
Issue1
Pagination77-85
ISSN09291393
KeywordsAgricultural intensification, Arbuscular mycorrhiza, ASB, Biodiversity, Ectomycorrhiza
AbstractSymbiotic association between plant roots and certain fungi is referred to as mycorrhiza. Mycorrhizal fungi provide a greater absorptive surface than root hairs and thus help in the absorption of the relatively immobile ions in soil such as phosphate, copper and zinc. In addition, mycorrhizal plants have greater tolerance to toxic metals, to root pathogens, to drought, to high soil temperature, to adverse soil pH and to transplant shock. The two main types of mycorrhiza in tropical ecosystems are: (1) ectomycorrhiza and (2) arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). Ectomycorrhizae mainly occur in tropical pines, Caesalpiniaceae, Dipterocarpaceae and Myrtaceae. AM occur in most of the agricultural and horticultural crops and several tropical tree species. Tropical cropping systems are established on areas previously occupied by species-rich forest ecosystems. This brings about a drastic change in the biodiversity of mycorrhizal fungi. Further it can be generalized that modern, high-input agricultural practices generally are detrimental to mycorrhizal fungi, while the low-input sustainable agriculture methods enhance the population of mycorrhizal fungi. More studies are needed to understand the role of mycorrhizal fungi in soil aggregation. Non-destructive methods have to be developed for studying mycorrhizal biodiversity in natural ecosystems.
URLhttp://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/els/09291393/1997/00000006/00000001/art00152