Plant mycorrhizal status, but not type, shifts with latitude and elevation in Europe

Abstract Aim Identifying the factors that drive large-scale patterns of biotic interaction is fundamental for understanding how communities respond to changing environmental conditions. Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a key interaction between fungi and most vascular plants. Whether plants are obligately (OM) or facultatively (FM) mycorrhizal, and which mycorrhizal type they form – arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), ectomycorrhizal (ECM), ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM) or non-mycorrhizal (NM) – can have strong implications for plant species distribution at the continental scale and on the responses of plants to environmental gradients.

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4) 09 FEBRUARY 2017In this instalment of Soil Therapy™ guidelines, I will continue to highlight the key characteristics and strategies relative to the minerals measured on your soil test. Here, we will consider sodium and sulfur. Sodium – Friend or Foe? Most growers think of sodium … Continue reading Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 4)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 3)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 3) 18 JANUARY 2017In this third instalment of the Soil Therapy™ guidelines, we will consider the major soil-sweetening cations, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Calcium (Ca) – The trucker of all minerals Key Roles Calcium is always the first mineral to correct in your soil, because it … Continue reading Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 3)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 2)

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 2) 12 JANUARY 2017In this segment, we will consider the two major minerals, nitrogen and phosphorus, in relation to your Soil Therapy™ report. The goal here is to clarify the key roles of these minerals, identify their ideal levels, and to offer some brief management strategies. … Continue reading Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 2)

It’s Cocktail Time! – The Amazing Potential of Engineered Biodiversity

It’s Cocktail Time! – The Amazing Potential of Engineered Biodiversity 27 AUGUST 2015The smart solution to the global warming challenge involves the recognition that soil carbon is king in the rescue equation. We could cut CO2 emissions by 100% tomorrow morning, but it would not save us. In 200 years’ time, the CO2in the atmosphere … Continue reading It’s Cocktail Time! – The Amazing Potential of Engineered Biodiversity

Soil Therapy™ Guidelines – Understanding your Soil Report (Part 1)

I am currently writing new guidelines for our Soil Therapy™ reports. It occurred to me that these detailed explanations of every facet of a good soil test might be of value to Nutrition Matters readers, so I have decided to share. In this first instalment, we shall look at CEC, TEC, pH, paramagnetism and organic matter, as these are the first five categories on a Soil Therapy™ report. CEC Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) offers an immediate guideline as to the nutrient and moisture storage capacity of your soil. A light sandy soil might have a CEC as low as 3, while a heavy clay soil might be as high as 60. This is essentially a measure of the clay component of your soil, and it can also indicate the appropriate fertilising strategy. A light, sandy soil, for example, should ideally be spoon-fed via fertigation (if possible) because it is not capable of much nutrient or moisture storage. The term "cation exchange capacity" refers to the fact that an exchange often takes place when a cation (a positively charged ion, e.g., calcium, magnesium, potassium or sodium) is removed from the clay colloid by the hungry plant. The plant must maintain an internal electrical balance so it releases a cation whenever it takes one on board. There would be no sense in taking in one nutrient and spitting out another, so the plant releases the non-nutrient mineral, hydrogen, whenever it takes in a cation like calcium or potassium. Hydrogen is effectively exchanged on the clay colloid and this lowers soil pH, as hydrogen is the acid element.