Agronomy for Sustainable Development

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 373–378

Yield and arbuscular mycorrhiza of winter rye in a 40-year fertilisation trial

  • M. J. Gollner
  • H. Wagentristl
  • P. Liebhard
  • J. K. Friedel
Research Article


The impact of different fertilisation treatments on soil organic matter, available soil nutrients, mycorrhizal and root properties, as well as on the yield response of winter rye (Secale cereale) was studied in a long-term field trial in Austria under dry site conditions. Winter rye has been grown since 1906 in soils treated with easily soluble mineral fertiliser, farmyard manure, and in an unfertilised control. We found the soil organic matter to be 96% higher in the plots fertilised with farmyard manure compared with easily soluble mineral fertiliser. Available soil phosphorous and potassium contents were at least 136% higher in both fertilised treatments than in the unfertilised control. Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation (+46%) of winter rye roots by indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, arbuscule frequency (+20%), and the length of the extraradical arbuscular mycorrhizal mycelium (+18%) were higher in the unfertilised control and reduced in the NPK treatment compared with the farmyard manure treatment. The average grain yield of winter rye from 1960 to 2000 increased in all treatments. This increase was higher in the fertilised treatments, +41% for farmyard manure and +60% for easily soluble mineral fertiliser, than in the unfertilised control. Two main effects presumably accounted for the continuously increasing average winter rye yield in all fertilisation treatments: (1) the use of modern winter rye varieties with a higher nutrient efficiency; and (2) an ongoing atmospheric nitrogen deposition. We conclude that the preferential application of farmyard manure, typical for low-input farming systems, resulted in increased levels of soil organic matter, arbuscular mycorrhizal colonisation and arbuscule frequency, supporting soil fertility by an enhanced crop nutrient uptake by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under dry site conditions, thus promoting crop yield stability and sustainable plant growth.


arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) long-term field trial continuous rye cropping farmyard manure (FYM) easily solublemineral fertiliser (NPK) 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen B.L., Jolley V.D., Robbins C.W., Freeborn L.L. (2001) Fallow versus wheat cropping of unamended and manure-amended soils related to mycorrhizal colonization, yield, and plant nutrition of dry bean and sweet corn, J. Plant Nutr. 24, 921–943.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amijee F., Tinker P.B., Stribley D.P. (1989) The development of endomycorrhizal root systems VII. A detailed study of effects of soil phosphorus in colonization, New. Phytol. 111, 435–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arden-Clarke C., Hodges R.D. (1988) The environmental effects of conventional and organic / biological farming systems. II. Soil ecology, soil fertility and nutrient cycles, Biol. Agric. Hortic. 5, 223–287.Google Scholar
  4. Augé R.M. (2001) Water relations, drought and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis, Mycorrhiza 11, 3–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Galvez L., Douds D.D.Jr., Drinkwater L.E., Wagoner O. (2001) Effect of tillage and farming system upon VAM fungus populations and mycorrhizas and nutrient uptake of maize, Plant Soil 228, 299–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Giovannetti M., Mosse B. (1980) An evaluation of techniques for measuring vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal infection in roots, New Phytol. 84, 489–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gosling P., Hodge A., Goodlass G., Bending G.D. (2006) Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and organic farming, Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 113, 17–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ianson D.C., Allen M.F. (1986) The effects of soil texture on extraction of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal spores from arid soils, Mycologia 78, 164–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jakobsen I., Abbott L.K., Robson A.D. (1992) External hyphae of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Trifolium subterraneum L. 1. Spread of hyphae and phosphorus inflow into roots, New Phytol. 120, 371–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jeffries P., Gianinazzi S., Perotto S., Turnau K., Barea J.M. (2003) The contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in sustainable maintenance of plant health and soil fertility, Biol. Fertil. Soils 37, 1–16.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson N.C. (1993) Can fertilization of soil select less mutualistic mycorrhizae? Ecol. Appl. 3, 749–757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Joner E.J. (2000) The effect of long-term fertilization with organic or inorganic fertilizers on mycorrhiza mediated phosphorus uptake in subterranean clover, Biol. Fertil. Soils 32, 435–440.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mäder P., Edenhofer S., Boller T., Wiemken A., Niggli U. (2000) Arbuscular mycorrhizae in a long-term field trial comparing lowinput (organic, biological) and high-input (conventional) farming systems in a crop rotation, Biol. Fertil. Soils 31, 150–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mäder P., Fließbach A., Dubois D., Gunst L., Fried P., Niggli U. (2002) Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming, Science 296, 1694–1697.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mäder P., Fließbach A., Wiemken A., Niggli U. (1995) Assessment of soil microbial status under long-term low input (biological) and high input (conventional) agriculture, in: Mäder P., Raupp J. (Eds.), Effects of low and high external input agriculture on soil microbial biomass and activities in view of sustainable agriculture, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture and Institute for Biodynamic Research, Oberwil, Darmstadt, Germany, pp. 24–38.Google Scholar
  16. McCoy E.L. (1998) Sand and organic amendment influences on soil physical properties related to turf establishment, Agron. J. 90, 411–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McGonigle T.P., Miller M.H., Evans D.G., Fairchild G.L., Swan J.A. (1990) A method which gives an objective measure of colonization of roots by vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, New Phytol. 115, 495–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Muthukumar T., Udaiyan K. (2000) Influence of organic manures on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. in relation to tissue nutrients and soluble carbohydrate in roots under field conditions, Biol. Fertil. Soils 31, 114–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Newsham K.K., Fitter A.H., Watkinson A.R. (1995) Multi-functionality and biodiversity in arbuscular mycorrhizas, Trends Ecol. Evol. 10, 407–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Oberson A., Frossard E. (2005) Phosphorus management of organic agriculture, in: Sims J.T., Sharpley A.N. (Eds.), Phosphorus: Agriculture and the Environment, ASA, CSSA and SSSA, pp. 761–779.Google Scholar
  21. Oehl F., Sieverding E., Mäder P., Dubois D., Ineichen K., Boller T., Wiemken A. (2004) Impact of long-term conventional and organic farming on the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Oecologia 138, 574–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Oehl F., Sieverding E., Mäder P., Ineichen K., Mäder P., Boller T., Wiemken A. (2003) Impact of land use intensity on the species diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in agroecosystems of central Europe, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69, 2816–2824.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Puxbaum H., Gregori Kalina M. (1998) Seasonal and annual deposition rates of sulfur, nitrogen and chloride species to an oak forest in North-Eastern Austria (Wolkersdorf, 240 m a.s.l.), Atmos. Environ. 32, 3557–3568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reganold J.P., Elliott L.F., Unger Y.L. (1987) Long-term effects of organic and conventional farming on soil erosion, Nature 330, 370–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Römer W., Schilling G. (1986) Phosphorus requirements of wheat plant in various stages of life cycle, Plant Soil 91, 221–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ryan M., Ash J. (1999) Effects of phosphorus and nitrogen on growth of pasture plants and VAM fungi in SE Australian soils with contrasting fertiliser histories (Conventional and biodynamic), Agric. Ecosyst. Environ. 73, 51–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ryan M.H., Graham J.H. (2002) Is there a role for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in production agriculture? Plant Soil 244, 263–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith S.E., Read D.J. (1997) Mycorrhizal Symbiosis, Academic Press, San Diego, DOI: 10.2136/sssaj2008.0015br.Google Scholar
  29. Steineck O., Ruckenbauer P. (1976) Results of a 70 years long-term rotation and fertilization experiment in the main cereal growing area of Austria, Ann. Agron. 27, 803–818.Google Scholar
  30. Tu C., Booker F.L., Watson D.M., Chen X., Rufty T.W., Shi W., Hu S. (2006) Mycorrhizal mediation of plant N acquisition and residue decomposition: Impact of mineral N inputs, Glob. Change Biol. 12, 793–803.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vierheilig H., Coughlan A.P., Wyss U., Piche Y. (1998) Ink and vinegar, a simple staining technique for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64, 5004–5007.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© INRA and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Gollner
    • 1
  • H. Wagentristl
    • 2
  • P. Liebhard
    • 2
  • J. K. Friedel
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Organic Farming, Department of Sustainable Agricultural SystemsUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant BiotechnologyUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations