tvahter [at] ut.ee
The main goal of my doctoral research is to get closer to the application of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in real problem situations in order to improve plant performance. Until now, the inoculation success has frequently been sub-optimal. Therefore, I aim to determine critical factors required for successful inoculation and to develop applicable inoculation methodology. I plan to use arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal inocula in field experiments of ecosystem restoration, where areas of differing ecological state will be inoculated with local mycorrhizal fungal communities similar to those of the target-ecosystems. In this manner, I aim to achieve mycorrhizal fungal communities adapted to the local conditions to increase the speed and quality of restoration. As a part of my doctoral project, a fatty acid profiling-based soil biological health indicator will be developed. This would help assessing the biological condition and restoration potential of different soils and the need for inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
The supervisor for my doctoral thesis is Maarja Öpik.