opabinia51
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endomycorrhizal fungi

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Thanks for the info. However I must correct something that you said. (And a common misconception that I once had as well )

Endo and Ectomycorrhizae are apparently not involved in composting, these are the fungi that are associated with the roots of plants. Endomycorrhizae penetrate the actual root of the plant and live inside and ectomycorrhizae live outside the plant. Both are mutualists providing the plant with Nitrogen (which they fix) and other nutrients. The plant does it's part by providing the fungi with Carbon (which the plants fix). It's a cool relationship because the Fungi cannot fix Carbon and Plants cannot fix Nitrogen. Both organisms need the elements and..... so do we! Cool.

Anyway, I understand what you mean by the leaves providing a healthy medium for which the plants to grow in but, once they are broken down by bacteria, fungi and worms the leftover humus would contain nutrients in the form of ions, chemical compounds, vitamins and so on. Are you aware of what compounds come from the different leaves?


By the way, I have a Fungal textbook on CD, I'll look up endo ecto mycorrhizae on the CD and get back to you. The stuff I just posted came from a workshop on Composting that I went to on the weekend.

opabinia51
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Okay, here we go. Yes, Mycorrhizae are fungi that grow either in plant roots cells or outside plant root cells. However, not all mycorrhizae are mutualists, some are parasites and cause plant diseases such as root rot, etc.
The fungi that are involved in composting are saprophytes and are involved in feeding on dead and decaying matter. Saprophytic Fungi release enzymes into the surrounding medium and digest the matter outside their cells and then absorb the nutrients from the outside in.

I could go on... and on, and on, and on but, I think this should be sufficient.

opabinia51
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Thanks Opa. I agree that most are sapprophytic types, but I have found that mycorrhizal supplementation in the later stages of composting does create a beneficial effect on both the compost and the end users (my plants!) Or that's my perception anyway

I'd be interested to look through any data you might want to send my way; can't learn too much, especially on this subject...Scott

opabinia51
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Sure, if you give me your email address I can email you pages of data. Also, you can buy the CD from it's Author: Bryce Kendrick.

The textbook (and CD) are entitled THE FIFTH KINGDOM. It's the text that we used for my Agae and Fungi course at University. The latest version of the CD also comes with the Matchmaker software put out by the Victoria Mycological Society which helps you to identify fruiting bodies of fungi. Anyway, if you want to just buy the CD it is 20 dollars (Canadian) and you can find Bryce on the net by typing his name into Google or by typing the title of his textbook into google. Both are great for anyone interested in Fungi.

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Here is an interesting website that I found on Endomycorrhyzus fungi.

https://www.world-of-fungi.org/Mostly_Mycology/Diane_Howarth/nutrients.htm


I found it while researching arbuscles (the interfaces between plant and endomycorrhyzal cells where nutrient uptake occurs). I was interested to find that the Fungi provide Phospherous to the host plant.

Hmmmm yes, it seems that Fungi are the vectors of which that allow a plant to absorb Phosphorous (they fix atmospheric P into chemicals such as phosphates). And it is actually BACTERIA that fix Nitrogen which plants somehow take up and so on. Just goes to show how this lovely web of life is connected.
The bacteria fix Nitrogen, fungi fix Phospherous, plants take them all up and deposit them in their tissues, animals eat plants and therefore able to live and reproduce after acquiring fixed N and P. It's the spice of life baby! (A little Austin Powers in me.)


On that note, all the more reason to garden organically because if you use the salt based fertilizers all the time you kill the bacteria and fungi in the soil that do all this great stuff!!! Therefore, you kill the soil and kill the plants and..... da da da!!! Kill us!

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
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Great stuff, Opabinia. Give me a few more days to absorb some of this (I'm NOT a biologist )and I'll e-mail you directly...

Scott

opabinia51
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Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Okay, I look forward to recieving the email from you.

As far as not being a biologist, you don't need to be a biologist to learn about Fungi or the intereaction of Fungi and other life forms in the soil. I think it is first hand knowledge that every gardner should have.

Anyway, enjoy looking at the information that I sent you and if you are interested in more, I have an entire textbook (in hard copy and on CD) of information if you want or need anymore.

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