The Effect Of Inoculation with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on The Yield of Woody Legumes and Cassava in Alley Cropping
Awotoye O. O.
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
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Accepted on October 17, 2006
A field investigation was carried out to assess the effect of inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi on the yield of cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz, Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Walp Leucaena leucocephala (Lam de Wit) and Senna siamea Irwin and Barneby in an alley cropping system. The soil was low in major nutrients. The plants were either uninoculated or inoculated with Gomus deserticolum Trappe, Bloss and Menge, but all plants were infected with indigenous AM fungi. The dry matter yield of roots of inoculated cassava was 43% greater than the uninoculated cassava. Apart from the positive effects on leaves of Gliricidia, mycorrhizzal inoculation did not influence the dry weights of stems and leaves of the hedgerow trees. These yield increases in cassava and Gliricidia were associated with increased P uptake and higher root colonization by AM fungi. The effect of inoculation with Glomus deserticolum was to increase nutrient uptake in Senna and improve extraction of soil water in Leucaena. The improved productivity of inoculated plants may be attributed in part to increased in stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration (E) and a stable xylem pressure potential (Yxylem) resulting in greater extraction of soil water in the dry season.