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Title: Indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of a tropical agroforestry system and their association with the intercrop, Zea mays L.
Author: McGreevy, Sonia
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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Zea mays L. is an important food crop and common intercrop species grown in semi-arid agroforestry systems in Kenya, East Africa. A preliminary field study showed that AMF spores occurred in particularly high number in this system compared with that reported for other less disturbed ecosystems. The same spore types occurred in tree and alley soil, however spore number and composition were variable, between host species, in fallow and cropped areas of the system and between wet and dry seasons. At the end of the dry season (February, 1991), fallow areas had significantly higher spore numbers than cropped areas of the system. Lower numbers of spores were found in soil in the dry season than in the wet season, when spore numbers were significantly higher in tree soil in the cropped area than in soil from other areas. The first experiment was established to determine the influence of host and fallowing on the effectiveness of AMF populations occurring in this system on mycorrhizal formation, growth and nutrition of plants. These results showed that plants inoculated with tree soil from the cropped area of the system had significantly higher mycorrhizal infection formation in roots, however this was not reflected in the growth and nutrient uptake of plants which were unaffected by AMF inoculation. The effects of soil type, soil volume and soil phosphorus were thought to have influenced the response of plants to inoculation in the previous experiment and so the influence of these factors on growth and nutrition of inoculated and uninoculated plants were investigated. Results from this experiment showed that plants had significantly different mycorrhizal infection in roots when grown in different soils. Mycorrhizal infection was higher in plants grown in smaller pots, decreasing significantly with incremental increases (1, 4 and 10 litre pots) in soil volume.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available