What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?


What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots

Arborists often recommend using mycorrhizae for growing trees. Because they help plants to withstand extreme conditions. But have you ever wondered what interactions exist between mycorrhizae and evergreen tree roots that lead to all these? 

Both organisms share mutually beneficial interactions. They help each other access nutrients that are not easily available in a soil-depleted zone or unusual habitats. Seems a bit confusing, right? Well, I will list the benefits and processes that will break down the interactions.   

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

There are symbiotic interactions between the fungi species Mycorrhizae and evergreen roots. It is symbiotic because they both depend on each other for nutrients.

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

The mycorrhizae consume sugars, and the root systems take up minerals, zinc, phosphate, and copper to grow. The fungus also absorbs up to 20% carbon from the tree.

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

With the nutrients and minerals taken from the roots, the mycorrhiza fungi develop antibiotic bodies or compounds. As a result, the insects or pathogens cannot infect the root or fungus. For better clarity, here is an animation of the interaction:

How Does the Symbiotic Interaction between the Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots Work?

The ectomycorrhizae mycorrhizae build a thick covering around the roots. And from the covering, a fungus extension called hyphae grows so that the root system can grow beyond the nutrient-deprived surface.

This type of mycorrhizae helps oaks, forest trees, and confers absorb water and micronutrients beyond the depleted zone.

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

Endomycorrhizae is another type of mycorrhizae that embeds the roots through its root-like structure mycelium. It works as a shield for the roots to spread through the poor soil and reach life-sustaining nutrients.

Due to dried soil conditions, drought, or low nutrient concentration, sometimes the nutrients deplete within the root zone of the trees. So, the root systems cannot get access to the foods they need. Hyphae extensions are relatively narrow. As a result, they can penetrate the soil pores that contain the minerals or phosphorus required for the roots.

What Are the Benefits of Mycorrhizae and Tree Roots Interactions?

Mycorrhizal roots or the relationship between the mycorrhizae and trees are beneficial for both organisms. More importantly, it helps trees to grow against rough conditions.

So, in case you want to plant or transplant trees, add mycorrhizal fungi for the following advantages –

1. Higher Rate of Survival

Mycorrhizae fungi increase the survival rate of trees against poor soil and extreme weather conditions. They easily consume water and phosphorus that are usually unavailable to plants in areas of drought, heavy rain, and metal toxicity.

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

This fungal root system supplies nitrogen to the plants if the soil is not enriched with it. And due to the fungus extensions, the trees can withstand stress without damaging the roots.

The fungus aids the roots to hold water for dried conditions. So, the plants do not overuse the water, and they save up to 30% of water to thrive against drought.

2. Improves Tree’s Immune System and Soil

Some trees cannot take up some compounds, such as cellulose as it is. Mycorrhizae breaks down these nutrients so that the tree roots’ immune system can transfer the chemicals to the branches quickly.

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?

It helps the soil to hold its topsoil structure. So, tree roots during rainy or windy days will not be exposed as the topsoil will not get washed or blown away. 

How to Keep the Mycorrhizal and Tree Roots Interactions Healthy?

Like any other fungi, Mycorrhizae species also require proper soil conditions to live off the tree roots. But if the soil disturbance is extreme, they will die, and it will affect the trees. So, to keep the interactions healthy, follow these guidelines:

What Interactions Exist Between Mycorrhizae and Evergreen Tree Roots?
  • Do not remove or pluck roots often around the mycorrhizal roots.
  • Livestock should not overgraze the vegetation near the fungal root system. Or else it will disturb the soil structure and affect the symbiotic connection.
  • Try not to mow the yard too frequently.
  • You should not over–apply herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. Because they can chemically disturb the soil, and fugal will not colonize the area around the tree roots.

Whether you let the fungal spores contact the roots naturally or add store-bought fungi, following these tips is a must. It allows them to keep them in ideal condition for the roots.

Conclusion

As mycorrhizal fungal roots are gaining popularity, many plant enthusiasts want to know what interactions exist between mycorrhizae and evergreen tree roots. And if you are a gardener, you should dig deeper into it. Thus, it will help you up your nurturing tactics.

The mutual symbiotic connection between these two also aids in competing with vegetation or grasses for nutrients. So, if you have nearby vegetation that blocks ever-green plant growth, I’d recommend getting mycorrhizal roots.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q’s):

1. Where Can I Buy Tree Mycorrhizae Fungi?

In order to form a relationship between the plants and fungus, you can add store-bought fungus species. They are easily available in nurseries and online stores.

2. Can Mycorrhizal Interaction Prevent Tree Root Rots?

Mycorrhizal interaction can reduce the tree root rots possibilities. Because it strengthens the roots with its sheath and by making enriched nutrients accessible.

3. Can Trees Grow Beyond Their Habitat through Mycorrhizal Interaction?

Yes, mycorrhizae make it possible to plant and grow trees beyond their usual habitat. This is because fungal interaction improves trees’ stress resistance. 

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

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