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Calcium/ magnesium ratio with fungi  RSS feed

 
Gilbert Fritz
Posts: 1317
Location: Denver, CO
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So, let's say that there is a soil with half the right amount of magnesium in relation to the amount of calcium present. There is a fair amount of both, however. Some writers, such as Albrecht and Steve Solomon, would say that this soil seriously needs work. However, let's say that a host of fungi were encouraged by the addition of woody organic matter (driving Steve Solomon crazy in the process!) Wouldn't the fungi make sure that enough magnesium got to their plant allies, despite the fact that the magnesium is technically locked up? After all, fungi are able to dissolve rocks, break down lignin, and degrade pesticides, so this should be easy for them.

Am I missing anything?
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I have wondered the same thing.

I think the answer might be "it depends on the populations and species of fungus and plants and the conditions of the soil especially moisture."

 
John Elliott
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This is where I would invite you to take a voyage into the world of Google Scholar. For instance, if you enter the search terms "magnesium transport hyphae", you get over 7,000 citations. Sure some are just links to journal abstracts, but a lot of the time, the authors have made pdf files of the paper available at a link on the right side of the page. As with the paper entitled "Interdependence of phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium and magnesium translocation by the ectomycorrhizal fungus Paxillus involutus".

So no, Gilbert, you aren't missing anything, but you might be if you spend all your time lost in the virtual library of research journals. Speaking for myself, getting lost in the research library for days at a time can be a wonderful experience, although when I used to do that it was a real library of bound volumes, and I didn't have to worry about a garden that needed weeding.
 
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