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High colonization by native arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of rubber trees in small-holders plantations on low fertility soils in North East Thailand

Herrmann L., Bräu L., Robin A., Robain H., Wiriyakitnateekul W., Lesueur D.. 2016. Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science, 62 (7) : p. 1041-1048.

DOI: 10.1080/03650340.2015.1110238

Rubber tree is a very important crop in Thailand, representing an essential source of income for farmers. In the past decades, rubber tree plantations have been greatly expanding in unfavorable areas, where climate conditions are difficult and soil fertility is very poor. To optimize latex yields, mineral fertilizers have been widely used. A better understanding of the roles of the biological compartment in soil fertility is essential to determine alternative management practices to sustain soil fertility and optimize latex yields. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) are widely recognized as beneficial for plants, mainly through their role in improving plant nutrient uptakes. The objective of this study was to assess the AMF populations in rubber tree plantations and the impact of both soil characteristics and plantation age on these communities. Our results showed that all rubber trees were highly colonized, regardless of soil structure and nutrient contents. AMF colonization was not affected by the age of the trees, suggesting that maintaining the symbiosis is likely to be beneficial at all stages. A better understanding and management of the microbial communities would contribute to maintaining or restoring soil fertility, leading to a better tree growth and optimized latex yield.

Mots-clés : hevea brasiliensis; mycorhizé à vésicule et arbuscule; fertilité du sol; dynamique des populations; biologie du sol; petite exploitation agricole; relation plante sol; interactions biologiques; thaïlande

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