Mycorrhiza efffect on nutritional quality and biomass production of Agave (Agave americana L.) and cactus pear (Opuntia lindheimeri Engelm.)
Keywords:Cactus pear, Agave, Biomass, Forage quality, Crude protein, Neutral–detergent fiber.
An experiment was conducted in Marín, Nuevo León, México to evaluate nutritional quality and
biomass production of agave (Agave americana L.) and cactus pear (Opuntia lindheimeri Engelm.),
including inoculation with commercial and native mycorrhiza under non–irrigated land conditions.
A field experiment was carried out under a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments with two
inoculants (commercial and native) and these two species. Treatments were distributed randomly
within three blocks. Plants were seeded on April, 2006 and data collected on April, 2007. Studied
variables were biomass production and contents of crude protein (CP), neutral–detergent fiber
(NDF), ash, calcium (Ca) and phosphorous (P). We observed a (p<0.05) significant interaction
between CP and NDF. Commercial inoculation was better in agave than in cactus pear, but native
inoculation was best in cactus pear. Biomass production, ash and P contents were greater (p<0.05)
in agave than in cactus pear. Inoculation type alone did not affect these variables. Calcium levels
did not reach significant (p<0.05) differences between inoculation levels or between species.
Results showed higher forage quality and biomass production in agave than in cactus pear.