the question, as stated above in this post, as well as numerous times in this thread is how much time will be necessary before the minerals are available?
Mycorrhizal fungi in the soil will transform these nutrients into a form that plants can uptake.
What if the total soil test shows that you a deficiency in some nutrients? This is where mycorrhizal fungi come in. They form networks. Research has established that they network to at least 30 metres although “[t]he role of mycorrhizal networks in forest dynamics is poorly understood because of the elusiveness of their spatial structure. ” Research has determined that mycorrhizal fungi associated with one plant connect with mycorrhizal fungi on adjacent plants
I do always have a struggle when naming any thread I start (but that may just be my perfectionist/aspergers thing kicking into super anal edit mode), and I actually agree that this might be a better way to phrase it, since the truth is, it doesn't make much difference to me, personally and for my general garden purposes, if it's studied further or not. If I am to teach that this plant does this, or that plant does that, then I would like to have some more concrete idea that what I am saying is based on some science. However, if I ever get around to getting some kind of permaculture certification, I might want to teach about such things, and I'm not sure that I would not feel like Hemenway, Toensmeier, and Kourik, that we should hesitate to make these statements considering the lack of study without exploring the idea that science might indeed be needed. So I am of both parties. hmmm.
My quibble is this: I think "Science welcome!" is more accurate than "Science is needed!"
Roberto, you put alot into helping me. I apologize for getting you off course with my techno handicap.
A good question. It would seem that the mycorrhizal super highway is what happens in a mature system, like a forest or wild meadow, when it has as much (or many times more) tonnage of mycelia as it does plant biomass, it would also seem that the process of beginning the super highway always starts on a side street or in a back yard path, or patio... so it begins as soon as a person starts a garden, puts a plant or seed in the ground, or is simply observing a tilled or fallow soil begins to develop/re-develop and be pioneered by a soil food web, but this latter scenario is just the beginning. Hugulkultur, the way I see it, propels a pioneered soil system through these initial stages of succession a lot quicker, but even then it takes several years to really get juicy with connections and nutrients. So, to further the analogy, even though a side street is connected to the super highway, it is when there are numerous side streets connecting to each other, and have been branched into from the alleys and backyard paths and patios, and these side streets are all connected via an easy jump onto the nearby accessible on-ramps to the super highway, then it really gets rockin'. This takes a more advanced horticultural situation, a food forest, et cetera to have those connections to be in a more complete mode. Like in Hemenway's description (in Gaia's Garden) of the stick farm (just planted food forest/orchard) that in a few years just suddenly explodes with life; I think that it's likely that it takes a while for these connections to be made. It's not that a plant will not be trying to make these connections, and will succeed to the point that the micro-local system is able, it is when more of these micro systems connect with one another that the super highway forms, and it is not until the super highway has advanced and expanded that it becomes fully functioning in a mature way. That's the way I see it anyway.
Once a plant is connected to the mycorrhizal super highway, with its'ability to make nutrients available to plants and in a usable form, doesn't this answer the question of "how much time is necessary"?
It's been an interesting ride to be at the wheel of! It has been a great one to be a part of. And Welcome.
Thanks Roberto for driving this thread. Great conversation.
Certainly: Energy expended by a plant will take away from it's potential to store energy. That's part of the 2nd thermo law thang.
This "mining" comes at a cost to the overall stored energy of the plant.
Whether it pans out that the 'role' of a DA happens (or not) to be the expenditure of energy so that other plants don't have this need, I think that it is stands to reason and that it is likely to be true that this would allow a reduction in the energy that a non-DA plant would be expending to access nutrients; how significant this reduction is, would probably depend greatly on how much of any given mineral is needed by the plant.
My question is there a significant reduction of energy needed by the target plant (less exudates) due to the ease of accessibility of a nutrient through the decomposition of the DA?
The first part of this question seems to be the basic idea that most people have believed about DA plants [that the decomposition of DA's provide soluble/exchangable nutrients to other plants]. As for the second part of this quote, I think that the best way to answer this is yes and no. Yes, the advancement of the soil food web through the decomposition of any plant will accumulate nutrients in the humus layer (probably predominantly in soluble forms) and thus be made available to succeeding plants. No, all plants are not dynamic accumulators in that some plants do indeed accumulate certain minerals/nutrients better than others, and in some cases this is in the extreme. Hyper accumulation is well documented, scientifically verified, and used to extract heavy metals from contaminated sites. A lettuce plant or an onion may accumulate a certain spectrum of nutrients which are unique to them as individuals, as species specific plants, and as the soil system (aggregate minerals and Soil Food Web) which they grew in could provide, but they are not DA's in the sense that I think we are discussing here.
Is the benefit of a DA that is has done the mining (expended the energy) of certain nutrients from mineral sources and it's decomposition has made those nutrients soluble or exchangeable versus the nutrient only be mineral or exchangeable? By this logic all plants that are added back into the Soil Food Web (SFW) through the process of decomposition are DA's.
I also tried to answer some of your questions, so that my helping you was not the only thing I was posting about
No, all plants are not dynamic accumulators in that some plants do indeed accumulate certain minerals/nutrients better than others, and in some cases this is in the extreme. Hyper accumulation is well documented, scientifically verified, and used to extract heavy metals from contaminated sites. A lettuce plant or an onion may accumulate a certain spectrum of nutrients which are unique to them as individuals, as species specific plants, and as the soil system (aggregate minerals and Soil Food Web) which they grew in could provide, but they are not DA's in the sense that I think we are discussing here.
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