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Ecological precedent for foliar sprays (nutritive, mineral, etc)

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Location: Hamilton ON, Canada
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Anyone have information or know where to get information on ecological precedents for foliar sprays (nutritive, protective, mineral, etc)?

My belief is that this occurs in forests and other settings all the time (via, evapotranspiration, lenticel function, natural aerosols/aromatics, dust, pollen, etc), seasonally (like via herb/shrub layer flood plain inundation), or by disturbance (like by ash, airshed particulate, bird droppings or historic dust-kicking mega-fauna such as buffalo or elephants).

Responses here don't necessarily have to be overly technical, I am just curious about this and was not sure where to find info about it. Honestly, a little video or short explanation might go a long way to helping me decide if I want to pursue this curiosity further. Wilson Alvarez' ( work comes to mind.. maybe I should inquire with him too.

What I am really driving at here is my belief that perhaps understanding the ecological precedents and function of foliar applications may lead to better forest garden design-practice.. and because I really feel that I am too lazy to be mixing up concoctions homegrown concoctions or buying foliar ingredients and walking around with a backpack sprayer or what-not --I just want to let the forest garden do that work.. but consciously support that function by design.

Any thoughts?
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I think you mentioned a lot of them (windborn dust, dry earth kicked up by large herds of animals during dry seasons, fire ash, the complex chemistry emitted by other plants in a biodiverse forest, animal by products deposited on the foliage, etc), the one that I think of where I live is coastal fog. Full of ionized sea minerals, in many places this fog comes in far up the river valleys almost every day of the year and deposits a good dew layer every morning.
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