Interactive effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and transplanting media improve early growth, physiological traits, and soil nutrient status of coconut 'Bido' under tropical monsoon climate

Wawan Sulistiono1*, Suryati Tjokrodiningrat2, Himawan Bayu Aji1, Bram Brahmantiyo3, Zauzah Abdullatif2, Gusmaini Gusmaini1, Muhammad Syakir1, Taufan Alam4, Musyadik Musyadik5, and Sudarto Sudarto1
Support for the development of sustainable coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) plantations is important. The ability of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to enhance plant growth has long been recognized. However, AMF’s role in transplanting media for the early growth of coconut is not well researched. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of AMF and various transplanting media on plant growth and soil nutrient status. A factorial randomized block design was used, with a three levels dose of AMF inoculum as the initial factor. The second factor was the composition of the transplanting media, specifically the combination of manure (PK), sawdust (SG) and sand (P) at three different levels. The research was conducted in North Maluku, Indonesia, from 2019 to 2022. The measured plant attributes were plant growth from 6 to 30 m after planting (MAT), some physiology traits, and soil nutrient status. The results indicated that the combination of 4 g AMF inoculum seedling-1 with media composition of PK:SG:P = 1/3:1/3:2/3 has resulted in significant improvement (p < 0.01) in stem circumference, leaf midribs number, leaf midribs length, plant height and availability of soil nutrients in terms of N (214.2%), P (78.5%), and K (88.9%). The activity of leaf nitrate reductase also increased significantly (p < 0.01) by 79.5%, as well as chlorophyll a (p < 0.01) and total chlorophyll content (p < 0.01) which increased by 40.6% and 49.1% respectively. The combination of AMF inoculation and transplanting media represent a sustainable agronomic technology that can enhance the optimal nutritional status and promote the early growth of coconut palms.
Keywords: AMF inoculation, coconut, growth, physiology, nutrient status, transplanting media.
1Research Center for Horticultural and Estate Crops, Cibinong Science Center, Bogor District, 16915, Indonesia.
2Universitas Khairun Ternate, Faculty of Agriculture, Ternate, North Maluku 97719, Indonesia.
3Research Center for Animal Husbandry, Cibinong Science Center, Bogor District 16915, Indonesia.
4Universitas Gadjah Mada, Faculty of Agriculture, Jl. Flora Bulaksumur-Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.
5Research Center of Applied Microbiology, Bogor, Cibinong Science Center, Bogor District 16915, Indonesia.
*Corresponding author (tionojanah@gmail.com).