Re: wood chip-digesting fungi and ground nuts

Greetings, Joel.  Sorry for the delay in sharing my information on your 
request below.  Nevertheless, I think that you would be very interested 
in the following references:

 1) Solbraa, K., M.D. Sant, A.R. Selmer-Olsen, and H.R. Gislerod.  1983.  
Composting soft and hardwood barks.  BioCycle, Vol. July/August:44-48,59.

 2) Hoitink, H.A.J., E.B. Nelson, and D.T. Gordon.  1982.  Composted bark 
controls soil pathogens of plants.  Ohio Report 67(1):7-10.

 3) Wood Products for Fertilizer.  1945.  Bulletine No. 7, NE Wood 
Utilization Council, New Haven, Conn.

 4) Composting section of the Appropriate Technology Microfiche Library, 
Volunteers in Asia, Stanford, CA, 1-800-648-8043.  Their information 
describes some very interesting successes in East Africa with applying 
sawdust to field soils as a fertilizer!  I too had questions of possible 
nitrogen immobilization but I suppose their successess can partially be 
explained by research such as the following:

 5) Hill, N.M, and D.G. Patriquin.  1990.  Evidence for the involvement 
of Azospirillum brasilense and Helicomyces roseus in the aerobic 
nitrogen-fixing/celluloytic system from sugarcane litter.  Soil Biol. 
Biochem. 22(3):313-319.

Joel, I noticed that someone did suggest using the references from Paul 
Staments for specific fungal inoculants, and I agree wholeheartedly on 
that.  He probably is one of our most kowledgeable resources persons on
this subject.  If you are interested too in more ideas about results from 
microbial screening trials on woody substrates, check out the following 

 6) Kirk, T.K., T. Higuchi, H.M. Chang (eds.).  1980.  Lignin 
Biodegradation: Microbiology, Chemistry and Potential Applications.  CRC 
Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Good luck on your trials.  I too feel that wood-based compost is an 
under-utilized resource.  I would be very interested in hearing about 
your experiences.  Later...

 On Sun, 27 Nov 1994, 
Joel B Gruver wrote:

> I have 2 info requests. 
> First, I have access to large volumes of roughly 
> chipped hardwood limbs with a small amount of foliage and coniferous 
> limbs mixed in. (These materials were chipped by a road maintenance crew.)
> Black cherry is probably the dominant hardwood constituent.
> I am looking for a method of accelerating the decomposition of  
> these materials so that I can use them as a soil amendment. I am 
> wondering if there is a species of fungi that I can innoculate or 
> encourage to accelerate the break down of such high lignin materials. 
> Where can I find good information on the biochemistry of fungal digestion of 
> high ligno-cellulosic materials ? Is there an edible species of mushroom 
> that I can culture on this material ?
> Where can I find information on the cultivation of the wild edible 
> plant (Apios americana, common name: ground nut) ? Who is researching the 
> economic potential of this plant ? Where can I obtain seeds, cuttings... of 
> groundnuts selected for desirable traits ?
> Joel Gruver
> Hampshire College Farm Center
> (413) 582-5348
> jgruver@hamp.hampshire.edu