Everyone’s talking about the benefits of Mycorrhizal Fungi. But have you found a useful resource summing up all the benefits? I haven’t.
The information is scattered in scientific papers, books and articles. For example, one article will explain how these fungi dramatically increase water and nutrient availability for their host plants. Another will describe how they release sugars from the tips of their hyphae to feed phosphate-solubilising bacteria.
The information is so discombobulated. It’s frustrating!
That’s why I thought sharing a mindmap would be helpful.
It shows all the benefits I have found so far from my research. There are likely to be others. If you have come across any, please let us know.
When I was studying for my university degree in ecology, way back in… Maybe I won’t say exactly! Scientists were starting to talk about mycorrhizal fungi. I remember that they had discovered a couple of plantation-grown conifer species had symbiotic relationships with these fungi. Now we know that these relationships are indispensable. Over 90% of plant species, including most crop plants, form associations with these specialised soil fungi.
Take a look at the diagram below. You’ll see why, by creating conditions for these fungi to proliferate, we:
- Save money on irrigation, fertiliser and pest control costs
- Grow stronger plants
- Improve our soil ecosystems
Click here to download the infographic as a PDF
Two Questions for You!
- After colonising dry land, how did plants get nutrients and water for the first 75 million years?
- What’s the primary function of roots?
The answers –
- Mycorrhizal fungi.
- To anchor plants in the soil. Roots function mainly as backups for when plants can’t form beneficial associations with mycorrhizal fungi.
Wow! That’s a different perspective.
Increasing Mycorrhizal Fungi in your Soil
Quick suggestions –
- Grow a continuous cover of plants to maintain food supplies – root exudates
- Use minimum or preferably zero tillage and digging!
- Avoid using broad-spectrum fungicides – they are toxic to mycorrhizal fungi
- Reducing nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser applications – plants reduce exudate supplies when these nutrients are readily available in the soil
For more information see these articles-
- What is Healthy Soil?
- How to Build Healthy Soil – Eco-logically
- Compost and Biological Fertilisers – Are they Regenerative Practices?
- How to reduce fertiliser Use
Or get practical advice to repair your soil ecosystem with these Handbooks for gardeners and farmers from Learning from Nature.