Key words Soil solarization
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
Abstract Field experiments were carried out at two different forest nurseries during the summer of 1994 to examine the efficacy of soil solarization for the control of damping-off. Both soils hosted Pythium spp., Fusarium spp. and Rhizoctonia solani as damping-off agents. Soil samples from solarized, steamed, fumigated and untreated plots were periodically collected and assayed for soil infectivity. Solarization with a double layer of polyethylene film was as effective as steaming or fumigation in reducing soil infectivity in the uppermost layer. During July the temperature of covered beds rose as high as 50°C at a soil depth of 5cm. The method achieved good control of Pythium spp., the main cause of damping-off at both nurseries, whereas Fusarium spp. were more tolerant. The association of Trichoderma spp. with a reduction of soil infectivity at the last sampling date strongly suggested that biocontrol processes were induced after solarization. Soil solarization provides a suitable method for control of damping-off.
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