I think most species of plant have some local optimum to grow,
This has to do with soil, water(supply or drainage), pests and
beneficial lifeforms (like micorrizha's) overall weather, climate
(incl. daylenght etc) and the extremes in there environment.
Often factors like these are neglegted. If you take a plant that
trives in soil "A' the same plant can be chronicly sick in the same
soil but on a very different spot (treatment).
I only mean to say that it will be difficult to build a database
around this theory but for the local environment I think its a good
> I am planning to plant some seeds in intact 0-30cm soil cores and
> destructively sample after a minimum growth period... maybe at
> emergence... or 1 week after emergence...
> Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on any past studies using plants
> to bioassay soil structure or any recommendations for the development of a
> simple soil structure bioassay method.
> I wonder how many farmers have dug up crop plants to look at the roots ?
Because I'm in the NON FOOD (gardenplants) I have to look at the
roots, The roots from organicly grown plants are often better
developed than from the nurseries that use chemicals a lot. (this has
allready been proven) [beneficial] soillife that gives the soil a
open structure, that binds nutrients and release them in the
rootarea, miccorrizha and other fungi, and a healthy soil ecosystem
that can fight off the nasties are problably responsible for the
Of course plants that get too much nutrients will always have a less
> It is easy to tell whether active nodulation has developed
> on legume roots.... what else can be quickly observed ??
Tomatoplants offer a lot of information about nutrients.
mosses and fungi are also sensitive plants.
A very fast observation can be the measurement of CO2 as a result
of soil activity but you need to know that the soil is healthy before
you test anything.
Frits v/d Laan
Certified Organic Horticulture
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