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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Nebraska--Lincoln, 1954. Department of Agronomy.


Copyright 1954, the author. Used by permission.


To help prevent soil erosion, commercially prepared soil stabilizers were developed, but the tremendous cost of using these compounds make their use uneconomic on most farm land. Therefore, if a microorganism could be found that would stabilize the soil at a low cost to the farmer, it would be of great value.

The object of this study was to try to determine if a cellulose decomposing microorganism using straw as the primary source of energy material, would stabilize Peorian Loess and Sharpsburg silty clay loam soil. It was decided to use fungi since they were found to be the most effective microorganism in stabilizing soil. Twelve cellulose decomposing fungi (Myrothecium verrucria, Chaetomium globosum, Monascus purpurea, Helminthosporium, Stachybotrys atra, Curvularia, Cephalothecium roseum, Memnoniella echinta, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus flavipes, and Thielaia basicola) were obtained from the chairman of the Botany Department of the University of Nebraska. When the best stabilizing fungi were found, more information was needed to determine their most suitable environment. When these results are added to what is already available at the Nebraska Experimental Station, it would be of interest to those that might want to use microorganisms to stabilize soil.

Only two microorganisms increased the aggregation of soil appreciably. These two were Curvularia and Stachybotrys atra.

Advisor: T. M. McCalla.