Apr 25, 2017

Mycorrhiza is, beyond any doubt, one of the best Nature’s ideas to improve vegetation and vivacity of plants. Mycorrhizal symbiosis with specific fungi is used by most plants in inland ecosystems
The mechanism of cooperation of two organisms which are so different from each other started several hundred million years ago, when plants began to conquer new inland habitats. The mutual cooperation of plants and fungi has proved so efficient and beneficial, that it has lasted ever since in every type of environmental conditions. Mycorrhiza is an incredibly ubiquitous phenomenon.Morphological differentiation of mycorrhizae is connected to specific features of symbiotic fungi and root system of plants. The most popular are ecto- and endomycorrhizae and mycorrhizae of ericaceous plants

Mycorrhizal symbiosis is, above all, nutritious relation between a fungus and a plant. In exchange for part of carbohydrates which a fungus collects from the root of a plant, it gains substantial aid in accessing nutritious elements in the soil.

The most important function of mycorrhizal fungi is their ability to build a “bridge” connecting the plant to the soil: hyphae of the fungi penetrate and colonize roots of a plant on one hand, on the other hand – they establish direct contact to the soil.

Thanks to a 1000-fold increase in the soil-penetrating abilities of the fungi-root system of the host plant, the flow of water and nutritious elements improves substantially, enhancing growth opportunities of the plant. By building a balance of mutual nutrition, mycorrhizal plants are more vivacious and competitive in conquering their ecosystems than plants without mycorrhiza.

Better survivability and robustness of plants is also supported by several other functions of mycorrhiza:

passive and active protection of root system against soil diseases
modifications of biotic environment in the root system
aggregating soil particles – which also fertilizes the soil

Mycorrhiza is a natural phenomenon, but under conditions of garden or nursery production of plants it is often eliminated by utilization of synthetic or sterilized growth backing and chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Mycorrhiza is the most natural and environment-friendly way to increase growth and vivacity of plants.

Andrzej Księżniak, Ph.D.

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