Several studies, performed mainly in pots, have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis can mitigate the negative effects of water stress on plant growth. No information is available about the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on berseem clover growth and nitrogen (N) fixation under conditions of water shortage. A field experiment was conducted in a hilly area of inner Sicily, Italy, to determine whether symbiosis with AM fungi can mitigate the detrimental effects of drought stress (which in the Mediterranean often occurs during the late period of the growing season) on forage yield and symbiotic N2 fixation of berseem clover. Soil was either left under water stress (i.e., rain-fed conditions) or the crop was well-watered. Mycorrhization treatments consisted of inoculation of berseem clover seeds with arbuscular mycorrhizal spores or suppression of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis by means of fungicide treatments. Nitrogen biological fixation was assessed using the 15N-isotope dilution technique. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis was able to mitigate the negative effect of water stress on berseem clover grown in a typical semiarid Mediterranean environment. In fact, under water stress conditions, arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis resulted in increases in total biomass, N content, and N fixation, whereas no effect of crop mycorrhization was observed in the well-watered treatment.
|Numero di pagine||0|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|
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