Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

A. Krapfenbauer, Ch. Holtermann and K. Wriessnig:

The role of mycorrhizal fungi in forestry and agriculture


Ectotrophic (EM) and arbuscular (AM) mycorrhizal fungi together with N-binding bacteria and actinomycetes are the most important symbionts of plants. EM are mainly restricted to Fagaceae and coniferous trees, AM are very important for most agricultural plants (cereals, legumes, Alliaceae, strawberries), fruit-trees and forest trees like maple, ash-tree, elm and poplar. Mycorrhiza improve the uptake of water and nutrients as well as the soil structure. They also suppress soil pathogene. Reduced tillage, moderate application of mineral fertilizers and the use of well adapted crop species increase the effectivity of mycorrhiza, but they are very susceptible to pesticides. For annual plants and vegetative propagules inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi has proofed to be useful.

Key words: ectotrophic and endotrophic mycorrhiza, crop plants, trees.