The effect of microorganisms in post‐fire soil on the growth of lasthenia californica was studied by comparing growth in natural soil versus autoclaved soil. It was hypothesized that the seeds from the natural soil would have more growth because the microorganisms have a symbiotic relationship with the plants. Seeds were grown in similar conditions in both autoclaved and natural soil. After 44 days, the plants were uprooted and split into shoots and roots. Shoots and roots were then biomassed. The natural soil had a total shoot biomass of 3.031g and a total root biomass of 89.554g, while the autoclaved soil had a total shoot biomass of 1.731g and a total root biomass of 21.4492g. The results were consistent with the hypothesis showing that microorganisms do have an effect on the growth of lasthenia californica. This is valuable information for any post‐fire recovery. If the fire was hot enough to kill the microorganisms, it might be more conducive to lasthenia californica growth to add microorganisms back to the soil.
Lindley, Bryce; Miller, Taylor; and Gibson, Tyler, "Natural microorganisms’ effect on the growth of Lasthenia californica in post‐fire soil" (2009). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 15.