Soil fungal resources in annual cropping systems and their potential for management.

Ellouze, W., Taheri, A.E., Bainard, L.D., Yang, C., Bazghaleh, N., Navarro-Borrell, A., Hanson, K.G., and Hamel, C. (2015). "Soil fungal resources in annual cropping systems and their potential for management.", BioMed Research International, 2014(Article ID 531824), pp. 1-15. doi : 10.1155/2014/531824  Access to full text

Abstract

Soil fungi are a critical component of agroecosystems and provide ecological services that impact the production of food and bioproducts. Effective management of fungal resources is essential to optimize the productivity and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. In this review, we (i) highlight the functional groups of fungi that play key roles in agricultural ecosystems, (ii) examine the influence of agronomic practices on these fungi, and (iii) propose ways to improve the management and contribution of soil fungi to annual cropping systems. Many of these key soil fungal organisms (i.e., arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and fungal root endophytes) interact directly with plants and are determinants of the efficiency of agroecosystems. In turn, plants largely control rhizosphere fungi through the production of carbon and energy rich compounds and of bioactive phytochemicals, making them a powerful tool for the management of soil fungal diversity in agriculture. The use of crop rotations and selection of optimal plant genotypes can be used to improve soil biodiversity and promote beneficial soil fungi. In addition, other agronomic practices (e.g., no-till, microbial inoculants, and biochemical amendments) can be used to enhance the effect of beneficial fungi and increase the health and productivity of cultivated soils.

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