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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Temporal and compositional differences of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in conventional monocropping and tree-based intercropping systems

Published source details

Bainard L.D., Koch A.M., Gordon A.M. & Klironomos J.N. (2012) Temporal and compositional differences of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in conventional monocropping and tree-based intercropping systems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 45, 172-180


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use alley cropping Soil Fertility

A randomized, controlled, replicated study in 2008 on sandy-loam soil in Ontario, Canada (Bainard et al. 2012) found a greater diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) under tree-based intercropping (6 phylotypes) compared with conventional cropping (4.7 phylotypes). Colonization of corn Zea mays roots was greater than 50% in both intercropped and conventional treatments, and AMF richness was similar in both treatments. Different tree species supported distinctive AMF communities. Trees were intercropped annually with corn, soybean Glycine max, winter wheat Triticum aestivum or barley Hordeum vulgare using no-till cultivation. The tree rows accounted for 16% of the crop area and were spaced 12.5-15 m apart. Tree species included silver maple Acer saccharinum , white ash Fraxinum americana , hazelnut Corylus avellana , black walnut Juglans nigra , Norway spruce Picea abies, hybrid poplar Populus deltoides, red oak Quercus rubra, black locust Robinia pseudoacacia, willow Salix discolor and white cedar Thuja occidentalis.