Fungi Is Responsible For Majority Of Carbon Sequestration In Forests

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Northern boreal forests are easily recognized for their majestic trees and have been credited with helping to sequester much of the world’s carbon dioxide. It was originally thought that vegetative matter was what was sinking the greenhouse gas. Now, a diverse team of scientists from Sweden have discovered that these great, soaring plants are getting a lot of help from some humble decomposers living in the soil. Their findings, published in the journal Science, revealed that fungi were responsible for up to an incredible 70 percent of soil carbon in certain samples.

Researchers have long known that boreal forests were able to suck up a good deal of carbon, but were previously unclear as to where it went and how it was absorbed. They had thought that the carbon was carried to the tree’s needles and dropped to the forest floor where decomposition would leech it into the environment. If that were true, they would expect to find the newest carbon deposits close to the surface. However, after taking soil samples from over 30 islands and two small lakes in Sweden, they saw that the new deposits were more likely to be found farther down, pulled to the roots of the trees by fungus. The mycorrhizal fungus has evolved a special relationship with the trees where it colonizes in the roots and assists the tree. The fungus gets access to a more consistent stream of carbohydrates and other sugars, and the tree in return has access to more water and minerals.
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Mycorrhizal Fungi Overview

Relatively short video talking all about Mycorrhizal fungi, from what it is to what it does. Interesting for those of you who want to get a good overview of what the processes are that these fungi utilise and how they form a symbiotic relationship with the plant.

My advice would be to inoculate the roots of your potted plants with these beneficial fungi/bacteria to give them a good protection for the period before they and transplanted into the ground/soil. Give them the best start in life they can get I say, get that good fungi in before the bad can get its foot in the door.

Permaculture Soils By Geoff Lawton (Documentory)

We’ve all seen environmental problems highlighted everyday on the media. Now comes the solution. From the man who said, “You can solve all the world’s problems in a garden” comes Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Soils DVD. 137 minutes of Permaculture soil creation strategies that really work! Even if you have never built a garden or got your hands dirty before, you will learn the secrets of real soil creation – partnering with the life in the Soil! Geoff will take you through every step of the process and explain in detail how to do it yourself. From Compost creation to larger Kitchen Gardens and then to broad acre farming – this is the future of biological agriculture.

Subjects covered:
Biodiversity and Compost
Designing a Kitchen Garden
Worm Farms
Duck Ponds
Using Chickens in a Food Forest
Pasture Management
Cell Grazing
Fungi
Soil Re-mineralization Strategies
Compost Teas
Soil Tests you can do yourself
Ripping the Soil
How to build an Instant Garden
and many more Permaculture design techniques are revealed in this unique DVD.

Plus Bonus extras:
“A Couple of Rough Types” – Permaculture cofounder Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton in a very revealing discussion. (part of it at least)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQiT9iEFRSk

Fantastic Fungi: The Spirit of Good

Short clip from a possible future (unreleased) documentary about Paul Stamets (mycologist) speaking on the benefit of mushrooms for nature and mankind. Lovely accompanying footage of mushrooms from the old growth forest.

“I believe nature is a force of good, good is not only a concept it is a spirit so hopefully the spirit of goodness will survive” – Paul Stamets

TED Talk: The Medical Mushroom Mystery Tour

Paul Stamets (mycologist) talks about four mushrooms for use in human health. He delves into aspects such as the antimicrobial properties of fungi, how they can be used as potent insecticides and how they may help boost the human immune system. I won’t spoil the end of the talk but he goes into cures for cancer which is really quite amazing.

Also another little snippet I picked up from the talk that I wanted to mention here is was how “H5N1 (bird flu) is carried by house flys”, interesting stuff! Hope you all enjoy this talk, I know I did, this material completely fascinates me to no end!!!

Here’s the Q&A session he done after the talk as well:

TED Talk: Are Mushrooms The New Plastic?

As CNN put it: “In non-scientific terms, they grind up seed husks and glue the small pieces together with mushroom root.” Their products include packaging and styrofoam substitute and the now-in-development Greensulate rigid insulation board for builders. Both products require less energy to create than synthetics like foam, because they’re quite literally grown. Equally compelling, at the end of their useful life, they can be home-composted or even used as garden mulch.

“There are three principles that should govern better materials. Firstly, they should be able to be created almost anywhere on the planet. Secondly, they should require considerably less energy to produce than current materials. Lastly, they should be able to be disposed of by nature’s wonderful open-source recycling system.” – Eben Bayer

Thanks to Garry Jenkins for sending me this information.

How Trees Talk

Fascinating short clip on how trees communicate via huge networks of fungi in the soil, fascinating stuff. These symbiotic relationships are nothing short of amazing!

“The massive underground roots of Fir trees are colonized by below ground Fungi, because the Fungi can’t produce their own food. Instead, their vast underground networks tap into the roots of trees and other plants. The plants provide the fungi with carbon based sugar. And the fungal network returns the favor, providing the trees with nutrients. Many plant species are dependent on Fungi for their survival and the Douglas Fir is no exception. in turn, the underground fungi are equally dependent on the trees carbon.”
Run time: 4:34sec | By: PBS: Nature: What Plants Talk About 2013 | At: British Columbia Rain Forest

Another video shows Suzanne Simard talking in more detail about her research behind these plant communication networks and the so called “mother trees”.
http://blip.tv/the-university-of-british-columbia/do-trees-communicate-5351099

Suzanne’s publications/research:
http://profiles.forestry.ubc.ca/person/suzanne-simard/