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Soil Condition and Symbiotic Mycorrhizal Fungi within Agno Watershed

Projecting the impact of mining on soil conditions will determine the quality of soil for plant growth. Soil physical properties such as color, bulk density, particle density, texture, and pH, are necessary to analyze for us to determine the current condition of the soil as there are several land uses within the Agno River Basin (e.g.mining, upland and lowland agriculture). Moreover, it is important to regularly monitor the soil characteristics as it is one of the most abundant abiotic components for the existing lives on our planet. Various natural and anthropogenic activities such as mining will extensively affect soil, water, and other living organisms. Thus, baselining will help determine suitable and desirable treatments in the environment. Part of our study under Project PAMANA is the determination of the current soil physico-chemical characteristics of the samples taken from the Agno River Basin. The laboratory works for soil samples were carried out at the UPLB Institute of Renewable Natural Resources Soils Laboratory.

Several studies have determined the importance of incorporating mycorrhizal fungi in promoting better plant growth in order to be more adaptive to current climate conditions and changes in the environment. Identifying different mycorrhiza species within the study areas will guide us to understand their impact on soil properties, and on other plant organisms within the area. For my part, observations of mycorrhiza within the soil samples are still ongoing at the UPLB National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) with the guidance of Dr. Nelly S. Aggangan. The soil samples were combined with sandy planting medium and were planted with grass species called Bahia. These seedlings were planted last December 2022 and will be harvested in June 2023 to determine the effects of each mycorrhiza species on the plant growth. Identification of the mycorrhiza species among the different sampling sites will also be carried out.

The project leads the way to a better understanding of the vast effects of the different land uses, with particular emphasis on the mining related land uses, especially for soil and water. As a student, I developed my skills by practicing both soil and mycorrhiza experimentations in the laboratory while hoping to provide more significant results that will hopefully review the past, inspect the present, and predict future applications.

~ Angeline Bandian – BS Forestry student (UPLB)