There is a symbiotic relationship between fungus mycorrhiza with plants and trees. Inoculating the soil in the root zone of tree seedlings with mycorrhiza, it makes the tree seedlings grow faster, increase the seedlings height and make its stem diameter bigger.
Here’ how the relationship works: The fungus derives all its food requirements from the plants. In return, the fungus provides benefits to the plants such as increased absorption of nutrients and water, increased drought resistance, control of root infection, and production of growth promoting substances.
Mycorrhiza is one of the alternative technologies known to substitute for chemical fertilizer. The fungus has the ability to increase the efficiency and recovery of nutrients from the soil. Once it invades the plant roots, the fungus can proliferate within the growing roots.
The use of mycorrhiza in treating tree seedlings can be beneficial to a successful reforestation according to a research paper presented by Ruben Gapasin of the Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA) at a meeting of National Academy of Science and Technology.
The researchers made an experiment getting soil samples from different tree species which were thoroughly mixed with sand and place them in pots.
The several potted sand soil mixture were planted with napier, guinea and para grasses respectively as hosts for mycorrhiza culture and mass production. The initial mycorrhiza spore count in the soil prior to planting the grasses was determined.
The build up of the mycorrhizal fungi in these grass species was assessed months after planting. The percentage increase of mycorrhizal fungi in the soil was likewise determined.
Out of 14 trees studied, seven were identified to have mycorrhizal association. These included calliandra, antsoan, paguringon, fire tree, yamane, ipil-ipil and narra.