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JASSA: Journal of Applied Science in Southern Africa

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Vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi prevalence and diversity in Zimbabwean soils

F T Makonese, S Mpepereki, P Mafongoya

Abstract




The prevalence and population levels of VAM fungi in a range of field soil environments in Zimbabwe were determined. The main VAM genera Acaulospora, Scutellospora, Gigaspora, Glomus, Sclerocystis and Entrophospora were represented in the study sites. The relative abundance was Glomus>Scutellospora>Sclerocytis>Gigaspora>Entrophospora at all sites except at Chabwino (fallow soil) and Thorn Park (sorghum) where Acaulospora>Scutellospora and Sclerocytis>Scutellospora = Acaulospora. Relative proportions of different VAM genera were similar across soils but population sizes varied with soil management. There was no clear relationship between VAM spore numbers and cropping history although among the cultivated plots, soils that had legumes as the previous or current crop generally had higher VAM populations than under sorghum. Of the soil parameters measured, only percent organic carbon was significantly correlated with VAM numbers and infective propagules.


Journal of Applied Science in Southern Africa Vol.5, No.1 pp. 35-46



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