Growth and nutrient uptake of temperate perennial pastures are influenced by grass species and fertilisation with a microbial consortium inoculant

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Background:The low fertility of sandy soils in South-Western Australia is challenging for the establishment of temperate perennial pastures. Aims:To assess whether microbial consortium inoculant may improve plant growth by increasing nutrient supply, root biomass and nutrient uptake capacity. Methods:Five temperate perennial pasture grasses-cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerataL. cv. Howlong), phalaris (Phalaris aquaticaL. cv. Atlas PG), tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceaL. cv. Prosper), tall wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticumL. cv. Dundas), and veldt grass (Ehrharta calycinaSm. cv. Mission) were tested in a controlled environment on the growth and nutrition with the microbial consortium inoculant and rock mineral fertiliser. Results:Veldt grass produced the highest shoot and root growth, while tall fescue yielded the lowest. Rock mineral fertiliser with or without microbial consortium inoculant significantly increased root and shoot biomass production across the grass species. The benefit of microbial consortium inoculation applied in conjunction with rock mineral fertiliser was significant regarding shoot N content in tall wheatgrass, cocksfoot and tall fescue. Shoot P and K concentrations also increased in the five grass species by microbial consortium inoculation combined with rock mineral fertiliser in comparison with the control treatment. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) colonisation decreased with rock mineral fertilisation with or without microbial consortium inoculant except in cocksfoot. Conclusions:The response to microbial consortium inoculation, either alone or in combination with rock mineral fertiliser, was plant species-dependent, indicating its potential use in pasture production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-538
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

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