Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and phosphorus fertilization on growth and nutrient uptake of barley grown on soils with different levels of salts
Mohammad, M.; Malkawi, H.; Shibli, R.
Journal of plant nutrition 26(1): 125-137
Greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) on plant growth, and nutrient uptake in saline soils with different salt and phosphorus (P) levels. The following treatments were included in this experiment: (i) Soil A, with salt level of 16.6 dS m(-1) and P level of 8.4 mg kg(-1); (ii) Soil B, with salt level of 6.2 dS m(-1) and P level of 17.5 mg kg(-1); and (iii) Soil C, with salt level of 2.4 dS m(-1) and P level of 6.5 mg kg(-1). Soils received no (control) or 25 mg P kg(-1) soil as triple super phosphate and were either not inoculated (control) or inoculated with a mixture of AM (AM1) and/or with Glomus intraradices (AM2). All pots were amended with 125 mg N kg(-1) soil as ammonium sulfate. Barley (Hordeum vulgar L., cv. "ACSAD 6") was grown for five weeks. Plants grown on highly saline soils were severely affected where the dry weight was significantly lower than plants growing on moderately and low saline soils. The tiller number and the plant height were also lower under highly saline condition. The reduced plant growth under highly saline soils is mainly attributed to the negative effect of the high osmotic potential of the soil solution of the highly saline soils which tend to reduce the nutrient and water uptake as well as reduce the plant root growth. Both the application of P fertilizers and the soil inoculation with either inoculum mixture or G. intraradices increased the dry weight and the height of the plants but not the tiller number. The positive effect of P application on plant growth was similar to the effect of AM inoculation. Phosphorus concentration in the plants was higher in the mycorrhizal plant compared to the non mycorrhizal ones when P was not added. On the other hand, the addition of P increased the P concentration in the plants of the non mycorrhizal plants to as high as that of the mycorrhizal plants. Iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) uptake increased with AM inoculation. The addition of P had a positive effect on micronutrient uptake in soil with low level of soil P, but had a negative effect in soil with high level of soil P. Micronutrient uptake decreases with increasing soil salinity level. Inoculation with AMF decreases sodium (Na) concentration in plants grown in soil of the highest salinity level but had no effect when plants were grown in soil with moderate or low salinity level. The potassium (K) concentration was not affected by any treatment while the K/Na ratio was increased by AM inoculation only when plant were grown in soil of the highest salinity level.