Mycorrhizal Fungi were More Effective than Zeolites in Increasing the Growth of Non-Irrigated Young Olive Trees uri icon


  • Four soil treatments, consisting of two commercial mycorrhizal fungi, one zeolite and an untreated control, were arranged in a factorial design with two foliar fertilization treatments, a foliar spray and a control to study the effects of commercial mycorrhizal fungi and zeolites on the growth of young, rainfed olive trees planted in very acidic soil. The concentrations in the plant tissues of most of essential nutrients, particularly nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and boron (B), did not significantly change with the soil treatments, whereas leaf N and B concentrations significantly increased with foliar fertilization. Leaf calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) levels were found to be much lower than their respective sufficiency ranges and increased with soil amendments, also giving positive outcomes for plant water status, photosynthetic activity and assimilation area. Ultimately, the mycorrhizal fungi increased the growth of the young trees, whereas the effect of zeolites was much smaller and not significantly different to the control. Thus, it seems that in this very acidic soil and under rainfed conditions, the major benefits for plants from the application of mycorrhizal fungi and zeolites were the alleviation of drought stress and tissue Ca and Mg disorders.

publication date

  • January 2020