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Dahlqvist, Julia, 2018. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in spring wheat : impact of waste-based fertilizers. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Soil and Environment



Phosphate rock is a diminishing source of phosphorus (P) for crop production. Other sources
are being investigated to replace it, for example bio-ash from wood combustion and biogas
digestate from house hold wastes. Ash and digestate application have resulted in increased
yields, but the effect on the soil biota has been somewhat varied. This study focuses on the
effects of bio-ash and digestate on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi), which live in
symbiosis with the studied crop spring wheat (Triticum aestivum). Furthermore, it aims to
determine the effect of AM fungi on the cadmium (Cd) uptake in wheat. Soil and plant samples
were collected in a field in Östergötland county where seven different treatments had
been applied (unfertilized control, digestate from two different production sites, ash, two
combinations of digestate and ash, mineral fertilizer). There were three different types of
samples collected: soil containing roots, soil without roots, and roots alone. These samples
were studied using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay; the roots were
furthermore studied for AM colonisation in a microscopy investigation and root, straw and
kernel samples were also sent for Cd content determination at ALS Scandinavia. The qPCR
assay showed that AM fungal biomass in the root samples and the soil samples including
roots were positively affected by application of digestate in combination with ash, and negatively
affected by mineral fertilizer and digestate alone. The biomass of wheat was affected
by the treatments, and the mineral fertilizer addition resulted in the greatest total biomass.
The AM fungal biomass in the root free soil was positively correlated with the wheat biomass,
indicating that mineral fertilizer can indirectly be beneficial for some type of AM
fungi. The microscopy investigation was only done for one block and was hence too small
to give a definitive result. In the roots sent for Cd determinations contamination of soil could
not be ruled out, instead Cd determinations of the straw and kernel were used for interpretations.
The different treatments did not affect the Cd content in the wheat nor was there any
correlation between amount of AM fungi and Cd content in the above ground plant parts.
The same was true for the pH values in the soil. The conclusion of this investigation is that
application of waste-based fertilizers affects AM fungi in various ways. According to my
results soil-associated AM fungal biomass is associated with a large host plant biomass, and
root-associated AM fungal biomass is positively affected by a combination of digestate and
ash. More research is needed in this area, especially with focus on the effect of waste-based
fertilizers on AM fungi with different life strategies and functional traits.

Main title:Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in spring wheat
Subtitle:impact of waste-based fertilizers
Authors:Dahlqvist, Julia
Supervisor:Dahlin, Sigrun and Engelbrecht Clemmensen, Karina
Examiner:Mårtensson, Anna
Series:Examensarbeten / Institutionen för mark och miljö, SLU
Volume/Sequential designation:2018:04
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY003 Agricultural Programme - Soil/Plant 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Soil and Environment
Keywords:digestate, ash, Cd, cadmium, circular economy, phosphorus, Glomeromycota, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, qPCR, microscope, field, pH, Quarna
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural research
Soil biology
Deposited On:25 May 2018 12:51
Metadata Last Modified:26 Feb 2019 14:08

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