soil hyphae, soybean Potted soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) plants were grown in P-fertilized (+P) or low-P soil (-P), or colonized in-P soil by one of the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Glomus etunicatum (Ge), Glomus mosseae (Gm), or Gigaspora rosea (Gr). Treatment effects on plant development, on the soil microflora, and on the status of water-stable soil aggregates (WSA) were evaluated for all 5 treatments or for the 3 AM treatments alone. Dry weights of the AM plants, as a group, were half-way between the dry weights of the +P and-P plants, but within the AM group, Gm plants had the highest pod dry weights and pod/stem and root/stem ratios and the lowest specific root lengths, while Ge plants had high stem dry weights and were highly nodulated. High reproductive development and coarse roots in the Gm plants were associated with the most extensive growth of AM soil hyphae (km pot1: Gm, 20; Gr, 12; Ge, 8), while nodulation was inversely related with AM-colonized root length. The soils colonized by AM fungi had significantly higher levels of WSA (size classes 1 to 2 and 2 to 4 mm), and within the larger size class, Gm soils had the highest percentage of WSA. Proliferation (plate counts) of Gram positive (G+) and Gram negative (G-) bacteria, Arthrobacter sp. (G+), and Pseudomonas sp. (G-) was greatest in the-P soils, but the bacterial populations of the +P and the AM soils were generally not significantly different. There were, however, differences among the AM treatments, where Gm soils had the lowest G- bacterial populations, while Ge soils had the highest populations of both G+ and G- bacteria. Correlations between plant and soil traits indicated that interactions within the plant-soil system were mediated by the AM fungi
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