Ignacio Chapela ichapela at NATURE.BERKELEY.EDU
Sat Jul 27 10:33:04 EST 1996

Dear Guenther,

I have been working with plantation/mycorrhiza problems for the last few
years in Ecuador and Mexico.  With very little time, but much interest on
your message, I would only like to say the following:

- You should be aware that in some places mycorrhizal fungi are providing
an improtant source of economic revenue for marginalized communities: in
Ecuador, for example, platntations are valued much more for the mushrooms
they produce (they export to German and Italian markets) than for the

- Please try and make a consciuos decision about WHICH fungi to introduce,
as this might enable/preclude your efforts to produce this kind of added
income to your lands.  In the past, highly aggressive fungi such as
Pisolithus tinctorius or Thelephora terrestris have been widely recommended
as easy additions to pine plantations.  Once these fungi are established it
is practically impossible to get rid of them, or to introduce other, more
interesting fungi.

-  Do consider the possibility of introducing high-value gourmet
mycorrhizae, such as Boletus spp.  The main problem there is to locate your
source of inoculum, but thata can be solved.

-  We are obtaining evidence suggesting also that the choice of mycorrhizal
fungus might have far-reaching consequences on the capacity of your
plantations to create soil and improve the quality of your site for future

With best regards and wishes for success,


Ignacio H. Chapela, PhD
Assistant Professor (Microbial Ecology)
College of Natural Resources
334 Hilgard Hall
University of California, Berkeley
CA 94720-3110    USA

tel(510)643 2452
fax(510)643 5098
ichapela at

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