Pedosphere 29(2): 170--179, 2019
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2019 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Humus-Rich Compost Increases Lettuce Growth, Nutrient Uptake, Mycorrhizal Colonisation, and Soil Fertility
Zakaria M. SOLAIMAN1, Hongjun YANG1,2, Deb ARCHDEACON3, Orna TIPPETT3, Michaela TIBI3, Andrew S. WHITELEY1
1SoilsWest, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment and the UWA Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia, Crawley WA 6009 (Australia)
2College of Resources and Environment, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715 (China)
3C-Wise, Nambeelup WA 6207 (Australia)
Corresponding Author:Zakaria M. SOLAIMAN
      Sandy soils, typical of Australia's west, either have little or no habitat protection for microbes including arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, which are essential for nutrient cycling. To minimize this problem, the application of organic matter, such as humus-rich composts, is necessary during vegetable crop production. This study aimed at determining the effects of humus-rich composts on either indigenous or inoculated AM fungal colonisation in roots, lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. Quechua) growth, and soil fertility improvement. Four different humus-rich composts with varying humus contents were applied at the same standard rate to lettuce grown under glasshouse conditions for 10 weeks after sowing and compared with two low-humus composts and non-amended soil (control). Humus-rich composts significantly increased lettuce shoot growth, root growth, and AM fungal colonisation in roots. Humus contents in the composts were also correlated with lettuce shoot and root growth. Soil dissolved organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, and fertility were increased with the application of humus-rich composts. These humus-rich composts, especially the compost of higher humic acid with and without AM inoculation, might have a significant role in sustainable vegetable production, for example lettuce growth. Overall, the results indicate that supplementation with humus-rich compost is highly beneficial to enhance soil fertility and potentially maintain the sustainability of vegetable production.
Key Words:  arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi,humus,nitrogen,phosphorus,vegetable production
Citation: Solaiman Z M, Yang H J, Archdeacon D, Tippett O, Tibi M, Whiteley A S. 2019. Humus-rich compost increases lettuce growth, nutrient uptake, mycorrhizal colonisation, and soil fertility. Pedosphere. 29(2):170-179.
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