Soil Biology - Fungi Part III : Types of Fungi
Endo vs Ecto
Now, within fungi itself, there are two basic types of distinguishing. There are endomycorrhizae and ectomycorrhizae. The distinguishing characteristics of these two types of fungi are how and where they exist within a soil system. Endomycorrhizae trade materials within cells (intracellularly) and Ectomycorrhizae trade minerals on the outer surface of cells. Endomycorrhizae are the type of fungi that we use in the cultivation of fast-growing plants. This means fruiting and flowering plants like leafy greens, peppers, tomatoes, and hemp. Ectomycorrhizae are most commonly found in association with slower growing plants, most specifically trees!! Ectomycorrhizae can be added to agricultural plots for the sake of diversification but provide very little if any benefit to the production of your crop. Endomycorrhizae grows very vigorously and if you over-apply them they can actually take over a majority of the soil, creating a stiff mycorrhizal shelf that decreases hydrodynamic capacity (that ability for water to move). If this does occur, you need to break apart that shelf to make sure the water can penetrate the soil surface.