Forage Radish Cover Crop Effects on Mycorrhizal Colonization and Soil Test Phosphorus
White, Charles Macaulay
Weil, Ray R
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Forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus) and cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crops were examined for their effects on arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization and P acquisition of a subsequent corn (Zea mays L.) silage crop. Soil test P following these cover crops was also measured in bulk soil collected at three depths in the surface soil and in soil sampled within 3 cm of forage radish tap root holes. Forage radish never decreased mycorrhizal colonization and rye sometimes increased colonization of the subsequent crop compared to growing no cover crop. The extent of colonization of corn roots by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi was positively correlated with corn shoot tissue P concentrations. Slight vertical soil test P stratification in the bulk soil occurred following both forage radish and rye cover crops at some sites. A large increase in soil test P occurred within 3 cm of forage radish tap root holes.