Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb.) is an introduced pasture plant responsible for poor animal performance when infected by the endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. Reduced animal production is due to the presence of toxic alkaloides, which accumulate in endophyte-infected fescue. We tested the hypothesis that the accumulation of these same alkaloids in soil could alter soil microbial populations and organic matter turnover. Four paddocks of 0.8 ha each were planted to fescue with or without endophyte infection in 1987-88. Soil samples of different depths down to 30 cm, as well as soil from the rhizoshphere of fescue were collected in 1997. Soil biochemical properties decreased with depth. Microbial diversity was analyzed using FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) based on methylated ester profiles of the fatty acids contained in the membranes of microbial cells. Soil microbial diversity was not greatly influenced by endophyte infection of tall fescue.