[permaculture] Re: permaculture Digest, Vol 2, Issue 36

jamie jamie at tiscali.fr
Thu Mar 27 11:09:55 EST 2003


Hello Rick, you wrote:

"Also I was wondering about conifer=bad, angiosperm=good; I know wise ol'
gardeners that won't put angiosperm chips around any heathers
(Ericaceae-Rhodies, Blueberries, Gaultheria, etc.) they say it breeds
disease."


I don't think many would disagree that chipped conifer (and pine needles)
help create the best conditions for the species you mention above (although
the leaves of oak can also help acidify the soil), especially if the soil is
calcareous. However, my attribution of gymnosperm-bad/angiosperm-good is a
distinction Lemieux draws to highlight the differing soils created by the
different forest systems. Although the actual distinction is slightly more
complicated than that which I used for brevity:

"We now know however that Gymnosperms (conifers), Dicotyledons and
Monocotyledons contain different types of lignin. These are identifiable as
symmetrical aromatic rings with two methoxyl groupings (OCH3) or "syringuil"
lignin, in the case of Dicotyledons, while in Conifers this lignin is
asymmetrical, with a single methoxyl grouping or "guayacil" lignin.
Monocotyledons represent a mixture of these two types, and include a third
type that has no methoxyl groupings at all on its aromatic rings."


I think the idea Lemieux is expressing is that soils beneath conifers tends
to exclude all but a very select group of plants that have adapted to this
'difficult' niche, while angiosperms (most) and certainly climax hardwood
forests, create ecosystems with the greatest biodiversity, he says:

"Gymnosperms would seem in fact to have developed a restrictive system for
eliminating their competition, based largely on the inhibiting effects of
polyphenol compounds. Here, the lignin structure is asymmetric, with only
one methoxyl group. This gives rise to many polyphenolic compounds, such as
aliphatic acids, terpenes, resins, etc. that render ineffective any lipases
that may be present. Many families of plants among the Angiosperms, such as
Umbelliferae and Labiatae, still retain some Gymnosperm characteristics.
This is also true of the Australian Eucalyptus: the devastating manner in
which it excludes all competition makes this species undesirable as an
alternative crop to agriculture."


HTH

Jamie
Souscayrous













-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Rick Valley
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2003 5:41 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Re: permaculture Digest, Vol 2, Issue 36


> From: mIEKAL aND <dtv at mwt.net>
> a lot of our available woodchips & saw dust are at least half white oak

To clarify: ramial chipped wood is branches (ramas>>Spanish "ramada">>
Scott's shade structure) Sawdust is not including much bark and very little
leaves. What part of the log do the termites eat first?
The woody stuff does a great job of mulching trees that want more fungus.

Also I was wondering about conifer=bad, angiosperm=good; I know wise ol'
gardeners that won't put angiosperm chips around any heathers
(Ericaceae-Rhodies, Blueberries, Gaultheria, etc.) they say it breeds
disease.

-Rick

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