5. The hidden world that feeds us: the living soil

Autor Gilles Lemieux

Research work over the last twenty years on the use of ramial chipped wood (RCW) in both
agriculture and in forestry has shown increases in productivity and fundamental modifications to the
soil, in both temperate and tropical climates. Although we are not yet in a position to make
substantiated proposals for its immediate use, we are able to suggest a series of hypothesis that need
to be subjected to large-scale field tests. One clear relationship is that between the type of lignin and
the behaviour of Gymnosperm and Angiosperm ecosystems. We note in particular the preponderant
role that immature lignin, in the form of oligomers or monomers, plays in structuring the soil and in
building trophic webs; the critical role played by Basidiomycetes in pedogenesis; and the importance
of endogenous energy in the functioning of the hypogeous ecosystem, and its major influence on the
conservation and distribution of biologically active water.

5 – Lemieux Living Soil

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