In a healthy ecosystem, there are complex ecological interactions between plants, digging mammals such as the quenda (southern brown bandicoot), and fungi.
Quenda eat underground fungi and pass spores in their scats (poo). This helps to disperse fungi and to encourage symbiotic relationships (called mycorrhizae) between fungi and tree roots. Mycorrhizal associations help the host plant to access water and nutrients and help keep trees healthy.
We are going to see if adding quenda poo (containing fungi spores) to tuart tree seedlings enhances these symbiotic relationships and improves the growth and survival of these seedlings. Sowing of seeds will begin in February 2017, and we will plant seedlings in the field in June 2017. Monitoring of growth and survival will be ongoing.