Publication: Research › Journal article – Annual report year: 1998
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi constitute a living bridge for the transport of nutrients from soil to plant roots, and are considered as the group of soil microorganisms that is of most direct importance to nutrient uptake by herbaceous plants. AM fungi also contribute to the formation of soil aggregates and to the protection of plants against drought and root pathogens. Assessment of soil quality, defined as the capacity of a soil to function within ecosystem boundaries to sustain biological productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant health, should therefore include both quantitative and qualitative measurements of this important biological resource. Various methods for the assessment of the potential for mycorrhiza formation and function are presented. Examples are given of the application of these methods to assess the impact of pesticides on the mycorrhiza.