We conducted two glasshouse experiments to determine the effect of soil disturbance on the infectivity of external hyphae of vesicular–arbuscular (VA) mycorrhizal fungi. A nylon mesh was used to exclude plant roots while allowing fungal hyphae to grow into soil contained by the mesh. Hyphae of VA mycorrhizal fungi that had been separated from the original host plant root were still able to colonize bioassay plants rapidly and extensively. However, disturbance of the soil inside the mesh, by mixing for 1 min, almost eliminated subsequent VA mycorrhiza formation in that soil. Damage to the soil hyphal network by soil disturbance may contribute to the losses in mycorrhizal infectivity that have been observed after mining and cultivation.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - May 1989|