Discovery of beneficial fungal taxa may help restore native plant in the PNW

phys.org | 6/19/2019 | Staff
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Camas, a seed-producing forb, grows in prairie and wetland habitats in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and carries profound prehistoric and current significance as a food resource and article of commerce among indigenous cultures of the PNW. The forb once flourished among the region but decreased in population after the conversion to modern forms of agricultural production.

The establishment of new camas populations in prairie and wetland restoration sites in the PNW has become challenging, though. According to plant pathologist Gretchen Freed, camas populations are readily established when grown in a monoculture setting for seed increase and bulb production at the nursery.

Camas - Component - Plant - Restoration - Efforts

"Camas is a keystone component of native plant restoration efforts in ephemeral wetland and prairie ecosystems in the PNW," says Freed. "Fungal communities associated with camas seeds may provide inoculum for colonization of seedling tissues to support the establishment of camas populations in diverse plant communities. Yet little is known about the composition of the fungal communities associated with camas."

"Seeds likely harbor communities that co-occur with camas plants and facilitate the annual growth cycle of plant tissues and the decomposition of plant debris in the soil," says Freed. "Seed taxa may influence the local adaptation of camas seedlings to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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