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Using Fungi to clean arsenic from rice paddies

 
Bryan Hugill
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Location: Bangkok, Thailand
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Hi Peter -

I've been looking forward to your book for a long time, after reading your previous 2 zines about mushrooms with relish.

Quick question though: We've been looking into trying to work with fungi and wood chips to remove arsenic from rice paddy soils here in the lower north-east of Thailand...any suggestions on how we might be able to achieve this most effectively (species, soil pre-treatments, etc)?

Thanks!
Bryan
 
Peter McCoy
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Hi Brian,
I would suggest working with mycorrhizal fungi as opposed to decomposers. The indigenous mycorrhizal species may be dealing with the arsenic to some degree. Amplifying these species will help speed up this natural process.

Many decomposers do not tend to do well in the soil as this is not their niche, generally speaking.

Dealing with metals is not an easy process as it is very dependent on a range of soil variables.
 
Bryan Hugill
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Peter McCoy wrote: Amplifying these species will help speed up this natural process.


Could you perhaps clarify what you mean by this in practical terms?
 
Peter McCoy
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You can harvest arbuscular mycorrhizal spores, cultivate/amplify them, then reintroduce them to the land. They may have adapted to the arsenic and thus, be amplifying them, you can help speed up any remediative function they are performing. Mushroom-forming mycorrhizae (ECM) can do this as well, but as a bit trickier to cultivate.

Cheers
Peter
 
Bryan Hugill
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Thanks for the further advice. I will try to get onto this in the next few months and will hopefully have positive news to report back on, in case others are in a similar predicament.

Cheers!
 
2017 Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs http://richsoil.com/pdc
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