Mycorrhizal fungi in Takino Filters restart greening after volcanic eruption.
An eruption caused a mountain forest to be destroyed, exposing rocks and preventing the natural growth of plant life. With a topsoil of only one millimeter it was not expected for regrowth to occur naturally for 50 years. A project to restore Unzen Fugendake to its former beauty was started.
|Takino Filter growing mats, with their seed bags containing seedlings and fertilizer, were successfully used to cover the devastated area and begin reforestation.
Mycorrhizal fungi also included in the bags promoted the growth of roots while encouraging water absorption to enhance drought tolerance, as well as taking mineral nutrients from the soil to foster plant growth.
As an experiment one section of the area destroyed by an avalanche of dirt and rocks caused by the 1995 Fugendake eruption was selected for greening.
The following year seed bags were dropped from helicopters in the northeast area of Fugendake’s Taruki plateau.
Seed bags with seeds, fertilizer and mycorrhizal fungi.
Effect and Outcome
The scattered sad bags excelled at taking root, with the mycorrhizal fungi stimulating symbiosis of natural vegetation. Growth rate was 1.5 times greater than normal, and many trees three meters in height had manifested after five years.
In a survey conducted from 1999 to 2003, the DNA of the mycorrhizal fungi in the seed bags were demonstrated to match with that in the natural habitat.
This marked the first time that mycorrhizal fungi was used in greening technology, which resulted in the intended reforestation goals.