Interactions between lucerne, rhizobia and mycorrhizas under different levels of N and P in the glasshouse and field

Use of nitrogen (N) fixing legumes and mycorrhizal inoculants have the potential to reduce the effects of limiting soil N and phosphorus (P) levels in agricultural soils.

In New Zealand, lucerne is used for direct grazing and haymaking and it is recommended that rhizobia (Ensifer meliloti) and P be added to this crop for maximum production.

The specific objectives of this thesis were to test under different soil N and P availability:

1) The effectiveness of Ensifer meliloti rhizobial inoculum and four strains of Rhizobium sp. isolated from lucerne in New Zealand on growth of lucerne.
2) The effectiveness of commercial vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizas on growth of lucerne.
3) The interaction between rhizobial and mycorrhizal inoculant on growth of lucerne.

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