Here is a series of our short articles as they relate to landscape design and subsequent maintenance. They can help further your understanding of ecological landscape design and the various natural processes involved in designing, building, and maintaining a sustainable landscape.
Living in this particular region of the country we experience a Mediterranean-type climate, so regardless of whether we are in a drought or not water conservation should always be a design issue due to our distinctive rainy and dry periods.
Nitrogen (N) deposition has been shown to have detrimental effects on ecosystems’ health and diversity by giving an advantage to exotics that better utilize N as a nutrient. In addition, N deposition accumulates in surface and ground waters where, ultimately, it leads to excessive algae growth and oxygen depletion (hypoxia) in recipient waters. In terrestrial ecosystems, excessive nitrogen can wreak havoc on soil chemistry, diminishing other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, leading to a decline in overall soil fertility.
Mycorrhizae fungi are important symbionts of many plant communities. The symbiosis is considered to be an adaptation of plants to acquire soil nutrients and additional moisture and of fungi to acquire carbohydrates. The fungi also fight off parasites such as nematodes and soil pathogens. Using mycorrhizae fungi inoculants can help eliminate the use of nitrogen fertilizers.