Mycorrhizae refers to the symbiotic relationship between fungi and plants. In this symbiotic relationship, the fungus colonizes the host plant’s root tissues and improves the water and nutrient absorption capabilities of the host plant.
What are the benefits of mycorrhizae?
The extensive hyphal network increases the surface area of the plant roots and helps plants to absorb the nutrients more efficiently from the soil. According to a research, besides other nutrients, mycorrhizae can supply upto 80% of phosphorous, 25% of nitrogen, 10% of potassium, 25% of zinc and 60% of copper that plant needs. The effective uptake of nutrients results in improved plant growth and development.
The extensive hyphal network reaches the tiny pores of water in the soil, where the plant roots alone would not reach. This helps the plants to improve their heat and drought tolerance.
Another very important benefit of mycorrhizae is that the extensive hyphal network also improves the uptake of fertilizer from soil.
Mycorrhizae reduces soil erosion and helps in improving the water holding capacity of the soil.
Why is an external source of mycorrhizae important?
Extensive land use and the use of heavy agriculture machinery, has drastic impact on overall microbial biodiversity which in turn effects the soil health and nutrient content in plants. Use of mycorrhizae can restore water and nutrient requirement if the plants and also improve soil health.
So when you think of more roots….more nutrition…..and more yield …..think mycorrhiza.