Weed control on arable land is of utmost importance in order to guarantee crop yields in organic agriculture. Controlling weeds is one of the biggest problems in organic agriculture, as no herbicides are used. Hence, the development of innovative strategies to suppress weeds is crucial for organic crop production.
Our initial studies show that AMF, which occur naturally in soil can suppress the growth of some of the most important agricultural weeds (Rinaudo et al. 2010, Plant and Soil (online); Veiga et al. 2011, PLoS ONE ). Based on AMF, we are endeavouring to develop new agricultural practices to regulate the associated weed flora.
Our studies specifically relate to:
- which weeds are inhibited by AMF
- which mechanisms regulate this growth inhibition
- whether weeds are colonized by other AMF species than crop plants
- if AMF abundance and diversity in the soil is related to weed growth, abundance and community composition