Soil Amendments

Improving the structure of soil organic matter is an important management option for enhancing mycorrhizal development (Allen et al. 1999). Compost, bark, or some other recalcitrant carbon source provides a slow release of nutrients while increasing soil moisture, facilitating infiltration, and reducing soil compaction. These conditions are not only beneficial to mycorrhizal fungi, but also many other microorganisms that improve nutrient availability and plant performance. For EM particularly, the absence of organic matter following severe disturbance limits the establishment of mycorrhizae despite adequate dispersal onto the site (Allen et al. 1992; Read 1984). The use of soil amendments could therefore alleviate the need for further mycorrhizal inoculation.

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