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fungi good for plant growth.  RSS feed

 
rose macaskie
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I have been reading my paul stamets book, "mycelium running" today and he talks of an experiment of one Simard 1997 in which they put measuring instruments radioactive carbon on the mycelium that ran between three trees, a douglas fir, a paper birch and a western red cedar.  Thenthey shaded the douglas fir to simulate deep shade so as to stop it photosynthesizing and producing sugar, food for itself and the birch fed it sugars carried throungh the mycelium and the amount of sugar taken to feed the fir changed with and changes in the firs ability to make sugars. May be it would be more true to say the fungi fed it wthe birch just supplied the fungi with the sugars.  Fungi  tide  plants over bad moments carrying them sugars from other plants! .

  Trees give fungi food they have elaborated, sugars and such, in exchange for minerals and water and such, that the hyphae get out of the ground and hand over to the trees. So they take elaborated foods from one plant to another, they pass on to plants some of the water and minerals that they fungi with fine and quantious hypha, are better at picking up from the soil than plants are and they recieve elabroated food from plants. Incredible. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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I got a donkey question mark on this entry so i am researching it, that is that sort of thing that ends up gettign me so full of details on things.  I have looked up Simard 1997 and found Dr. Susanne W. Simard, of columbia university i have to loook that uup again and some short mention of mycelium carrying nutrients to trees. All her articles seem to be locked up or have to be paid for but i have only so far gone through the first page on her. I will look up the other experiment mentioned by Paul Stamets, an earlier study by Kristina Arnerant. It seems there are some women experts in this branch of science. agri rose macaskie.
 
                                            
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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I just read that too, such an amazing idea!

That would seem to make Mycelium a regulator in overall forest health, allowing it to 'average' out abundance and scarcity over the whole of the connected forested area.  As a student studying restoration ecology, this seems like it would be huge in helping damaged or disturbed forest lands recover though the use of mycelium inoculation of replantings.

Have you had any luck finding further information on these studies?  I would love to read through the original research!
 
rose macaskie
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tentamous you must get paul stamets book on mycelium running .
  It also talks of how fungi produce soil, you put down mats of wood chips, inoculate them with fungus which turn the chips into soil.
  He also talks of how fungi break down poisonous molecules amoung which are herbicides and pesticides. fungi that break down the bonds in phosphate molecules are better at breaking down herbicides and pesticides an dchemical warfare compoundsHe trains special strains of fungi that dissolve phosphorus bonds to get used enough to vx toxins for instance to undo their molecules. 

    He finds fungus that produce substances that dissolve the bonds between hydrogen and carbon and change hydrocarbons into carbo hydrates which means petrol into oyster mushroom. He says the oyster mushrooms are an especially aggressive breaker down of things from wood to petrol and to herbicides.

    He trusts fungi to sort out natural disaster problems, if we have not wiped fungi off the site.  He says the tips of their hypha produce lots of different substances and find out by trail and error which one will work to break down different molecules. He says fungi have been evolving so long that they have a lot of tricks up their sleeve's and can reduce our unbiodegradable chemical rubbish.
     He also says that fungi start off a chain reaction bringing in other types of re-mediators. bacteris also produce acids and enzymes that break down molecules.
    This is how they fungi produce a chain reaction that brings in other forms of life to help hte soil .
    The oyster mushrooms eat up hydro carbides and when their life comes to and end the  fungi flesh is a good food source for microbes, bacteria and such, bringing in the microbial bioremediators to the scene and also the flesh of the mushrooms attracts insects and the insects living off the mushrooms attract birds, most of which are omnivores so they come to eat the insects in the mushroom flesh but as they also eat seeds, leave seeds in their droppings which  add plants to the mix and plants can do  a bit of fitoremediation which is to say plant remediation.
      I know what poisoned soils are, someone put herbicides on a bit of my garden and even ten years later the grasses have not grown back. My problem with trying out paul stamets ideas to better it is, to buy enough woodchips and such, things you need to cover the site you want to cure because you need them as food  for your remidiating fungi. 
     You must read Paul Stamets, he is great on all this. You can also watch him on you tube that is more immediate than looking for his books in a book shop or ordering them on line at "fungi perfect". agri rose macaskie. 
 
                                            
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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I've watched his youtube videos and I just got Mycelium Running (I had just read the section you were talking about when I posted in the thread )

I'm lucky in that I live about 45 mins from fungi perfecti, so I'm going to try and attend his next lecture.  This is all very impressive stuff and I'd love to get a closer look at the data backing it up!
 
rose macaskie
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tentamus. I find find book exciting so its great if someone ellse does. You are lucky to live by him, it would be fun to meet him.  If you lived by him you might end up meeting often much more fun. I suppose that when people tell you all they know is when they sit down and try to write it all down, so meeting them is not necessary, agri rose macaskie. I read your message agian it is not so very close.
 
                              
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Location: Coast Range, Oregon--the New Magic Land
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yes! it's an awesome book!

The nutrient uptake/connection idea has been around for a while now in forestry(15, 20 years?). I believe they first got the connection in messing around with vigor problems of seedling trees grown for reforestation.

good to know he has youtube vids!
 
rose macaskie
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Paul Stamets also talks of infecting trees with parasitic fungi to protect it from a worse parasitic fungi. He has experimented in the petri dish in the laboratory putting different parasitic fungi together to see which out grow which and some of the tree parasites that are not so very bad for trees out grow the honey fungus say that is very bad for trees.
     If you have trees being attacked by fungi inoculate them with other fungi, I have tried it by making a mash of fungi with mud and tie plastered on the trunk of my apple trees.  THere are other ways of inoculating trees paul stamets gives variouse methods to see if  you can get a benign fungi to inhabit the tree instead of a mortal one . I include a suggestion or two of his for doing this, off hand, without rereading the book to find them all.
    Chaga, inonotus obliquus, I think that is the mushroom on a trunk in hte photo posted by Paul Wheatons in these forums, photo of a sinister looking growth with black bits and other coloured bits. Paul Stamets met a man who had cured chestnut blight with paste of this mushroom held on to the trunk of the trees with gauze.  
   Sparassis crispa, Cauliflower Mushroom.that Paul Stamets uses in an experiment to try to cure honey fungus infecting trunks round Wood with this fungi that looks like a cauliflower. He gives ways of infecting trunks in his book, "Mycelium Running".  
   Trametes versicolor, turkey tail fungi. THis fungi has has a lot of medicinal uses against many types of tumors according to Stametes. He says it is faster growing and so overtakes parasitic fungi in the lab and thinks it could be used to inoculate a quantity of stumps that would form a sort of "fungi break" against parasitic fungi in a wood, my words and interpretion of what he said, he seems to want a turkey tail stump clearing, where trees are threatened by parasitic fungi. The orietals make a tea of this. It can be confused with one or two other mushrooms.
 Stamets sometimes mentions doubts about stopping parasitic fungi instead of letting them do their damnedest and so renewing the soil .agri rose macaskie.
 
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