Collaboration with Professor Mark Tibbett on mycorrhizal studies

The symbiosis between plants and mycorrhizal fungi is a fundamental factor for the phytoremediation of contaminated soils in the Guadiamar Valley.

From the 15th to the 18th of May 2017, Professor Mark Tibbett (University of Reading, UK) visited the IRNAS-CSIC to participate in a collaborative work on the effects of contamination by trace elements on soil biodiversity.

Professor Tibbett gave a conference in the IRNAS´ Seminar Cycle, entitled “The mysterious world of mycorrhizas: Unrecognized attributes of the commonest plant-fungal symbiosis”. The role of mycorrhizas and the plant-fungi-soil interface was remarked, as well as their importance in plant nutrition and stress tolerance. “Bare roots does not exist in nature” he stated, remarking the universality of  plant-fungal associations.

The field visit included a general overview of the Aznalcóllar mine complex and the old tailings dams which collapsed, provoking the spill.

In the experimental plot for the long-term study of the effects of amendment addition on soil remediation, the interactions between soil properties (mainly pH), mycorrhizas and colonizing plants were discussed in contaminated and remediated soils.

Lastly, in La Herrería (Sanlúcar la Mayor) field, the relations of different tree species such as stone pine (Pinus pinea), white poplar (Populus alba) and wild olive (Olea europaea) with the soil organic matter underneath, the phytostabilization of trace elements, and the communities of mycorrhizal fungi were discussed.

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