Organic orchards support more beneficial fungi than conventional orchards

15049291632_dc444314ac_zA type of fungi known as arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is commonly associated with providing fruit trees with such benefits as increased water and mineral uptake. A recent study published in the scientific journal Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment explored whether management practice—organic or conventional—affected AM fungi in apple orchards. Scientists planted young trees into five plots, two of which were raised using conventional management schemes and three used organic management schemes. Soil properties including pH and mineral content were quantified for each plot as were AM fungi communities. Overall, they found that organic management resulted in higher levels of beneficial root colonization by AM fungi than conventional management, and therefore “promoted functional AM associations more effectively than conventional practices.”