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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2008) 53(1): 12–15
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Refereed article
Mycorrhizas: A context for species siting and management?

Murray Davis

Scion, P O Box 29237, Christchurch

A mycorrhiza is an association between soil fungus and a plant root. Most vascular plants form mycorrhizal associations in which the fungus benefits from photosynthetically derived carbon compounds (Smith and Read 1997). In return, the plant gains the use of the fungal myceliumís very large surface area and small diameter that allows penetration of much finer soil pores than root hairs, to absorb water and mineral nutrients from the soil (Allen 1991). Additionally, mycorrhizal plants are often more resistant to diseases, such as those caused by microbial soil-borne pathogens.
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