Thursday, May 21, 2009

Organic fertilization improves soil fungi population

While organic fertilization is now widely known to improve the general soil quality, more data from field experiments are still needed to support this notion. Cwalina-Ambroziak and Bowszys (2009) carried out a 3-year field experiment to determine the influence of organic fertilization on the community of soil fungi as compared to no fertilization and NPK fertilization only. Findings of the study revealed a significantly higher total number of fungal colony-forming units in soil applied with organic fertilizer than in soil without fertilizer application and the one applied with NPK mineral fertilizers. Moreover, pathogen population was highest in soil without fertilization and lowest in the soil added with organic fertilizer.

The study demonstrated that organic fertilization has a positive influence on the structure of soil fungi communities. This was particularly more observable in the qualitative changes in fungi composition than in the changes in fungi numbers. Results of the study support the findings of other researchers that organic fertilization stimulates the growth of soil microorganisms and that it protects the plants against pathogens of the genus Pythium and Phytophthora.

According to Terekhova (2007) fungal communities represent one of the most important functional and structural components of biological systems. Fungi affect the properties of the soil via the regulation of pedogenic processes; the composition of soil organic matter; the soil structure status; the soil acidity; the soil temperature characteristics; and certainly via the regulation of the functioning of soil microbiota.


Cwalina-Ambroziak B. and T. Bowszys. 2009. Changes in fungi communities in organically fertilized soil. Plant Soil Environ 55: 25-32.

Terekhova V.A. 2007. The importance of mycological studies for soil quality control. Eurasian Soil Science 40: 583-587.

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