Submitted to: CRC Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Arbuscular Mycorrhizae (AM) fungi colonize the root systems of most plants and not only obtain their energy for growth from the host plant, but also provide for example, for the efficient transfer of mineral nutrients from the soil to the plant. AM fungi occur in approximately 60-70 percent of agriculturally important crops. This review not only discusses our current knowledge of the impact of mycorrhizae in agricultural systems, but emphasizes the importance of learning to efficiently manage the AM fungi in a cropping system to enhance crop productivity under a wide range of environmental conditions.
Technical Abstract: Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are recognized as important components of agricultural systems due to their role in plant nutrition, root disease dynamics and soil fertility. It is generally agreed that AM fungi are a necessary component of agricultural ecosystems but there is very limited understanding as to how to integrate and maintain efficient AM fungi in annual cropping systems. As the cost of chemical inputs and irrigation continues to increase, the benefits of AM fungi in the overall crop management plan can become economically important. Therefore, the need to expand the discussion of mycorrhizae in agriculture beyond what has traditionally been discussed has led to an overview of current knowledge concerning the role of mycorrhizae specifically in agricultural production systems. The factors impacting root growth and AM symbiosis as well as impacts of certain management practices such as tillage and crop rotation are discussed in detail. Inoculum dynamics are also discussed as impacted by agricultural practices. Finally, a discussion of the practicality of managing AM fungi explores the possibilities of utilizing AM fungi to enhance crop growth and development under different environmental conditions.