Webinar series: Scion’s research into soil-plant-microbe interactions

This webinar series highlights Scion's research into soil-plant-microbe interactions. Scion’s research in this area has underpinned recent advances in nutrient management in New Zealand Radiata pine forests, and has also provided a new capability to manage the activity of beneficial soil bacteria and mycorrhiza in nursery and forest settings.

The webinars are presented by Simeon Smaill, a Senior Scientist in the Forest System Group at Scion. Simeon led much of this research over the last decade, exploring various aspects of soil-plant-microbe interactions, concentrating on applied outcomes that enable improvements to tree health and performance.

Session 1: introduction to the research – Friday 12 June – 11-11:30am AEST / 10:30-11am SA, NT / 9-9:30am WA

In this session Simeon will provide a background to his work, discuss the implementation of microbial research into forest and nursery management, and summarise some of the applied outcomes that have been created.

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Session 2: Outcomes for nurseries - Friday 19 June – 11-11:45am AEST / 10:30-11:15am SA, NT / 9-9:45am WA

This webinar will focus on research projects that have explored the potential to reduce chemical use in radiata pine nurseries by increasing the benefits derived from mycorrhiza and the targeted use of biostimulants. Trials at operational scales in commercial nurseries have proven successful over several years, and field trials using this stock have resulted in significant gains in productivity for up to eight years after forest establishment.

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Session 3: Enhancing plant stress tolerance with benefice soil bacteria - Friday 26 June – 11-11:45am AEST / 10:30-11:15am SA, NT / 9-9:45am WA

Simeon will describe the results of various trials designed to increase the stress tolerance of radiata pine by enhancing the abundance of plant growth promoting bacteria. Certain soil bacteria have the capacity to alter plant stress responses by manipulating plant biochemistry, allowing the plant to better tolerate adverse conditions. Trials with radiata pine have shown that different genotypes are able to attract these bacteria, and treatments have also been developed that act to increase the abundance of these bacteria, resulting in significant growth gains in difficult environments.

Click here to view slides.