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Nutrient acquisition and nitrate reductase activity of mycorrhizal Retama sphaerocarpa L. seedlings afforested in an amended semiarid soil under two water regimes

AuthorsCaravaca Ballester, María Fuensanta CSIC ORCID; Alguacil García, María del Mar CSIC ORCID; Díaz, Gisela; Marín, Purificación; Roldán Garrigos, Antonio
Composted sewage sludge
Nitrate reductase
Nutrient uptake
Issue Date18-Jan-2006
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationSoil Use and Management 21(1):10-16 (2006)
AbstractWe studied the effect of inoculation with three arbuscular-mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith, Glomus deserticola (Trappe, Bloss. & Menge) and Glomus mosseae ([Nicol & Gerd.] Gerd. & Trappe) and the addition of composted sewage sludge on root nitrate reductase (NR, EC activity, mycorrhizal colonization, plant growth and nutrient uptake in Retama sphaerocarpa L. seedlings afforested in a semiarid, degraded Mediterranean soil under well-watered and non-watered conditions. Six months after planting, the mycorrhizal inoculation and the irrigation of plants had a strong effect on the growth parameters. The effect on plant growth was a negative interaction between plant irrigation and mycorrhizal inoculation and a positive interaction between plant irrigation and composted sewage sludge addition. The latter treatment had a significant, but moderate, effect on the growth but conferred no additional benefit when combined with mycorrhizal inoculation. Mycorrhizal inoculation, composted sewage sludge and irrigation had a significant effect on NR activity in roots and on foliar nutrients. The irrigation significantly increased the positive effect of composted sewage sludge on NR activity and the concentrations of foliar N and K. The effect of mycorrhizal inoculation on NR activity did not depend on the water regime. The effectiveness of mycorrhizal inoculation on the establishment and growth of R. sphaerocarpa seedlings in these Mediterranean conditions was independent of water regime. The addition of composted sewage sludge was only effective when soil water was freely available. The combination of mycorrhizal inoculation and composted sewage sludge addition had no synergistic effect on plant growth.
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