lately i've been doing alot of research/studying about the usefulness/harm from using single species compared to using a wide diverse community of organisms for disease,insect prevention,regulation/nutrient cycling/nutrient retention/soil building/plant growth improvement/ete. i bring this topic up to broaden my own personal understanding on the subject and to bring out discussion from the forum. this thread is not intended to discredit or bash single or multi-mono culture microbial products in anyway. my first feeling on the subject is that mono cultures depending on the species could already be present at site/soil/leaf? if not present at site and not local to area could there be a competition/unbalancing issue depending on situation if used regularly? single species organisms have a "window" lets say that they grow in...right environment,temp/moisture/ph/food/other micro's in area?........if condition's aren't right or since they change through out the year,how can these products compensate for environmental changes and still provide benefit since there is no diversity in the microbial community to adapted to changes if it's a product intended for plant growth in a closed system? since it's up to the plant what organisms it wants, out of the thousands/millions/billions? of DIFFERENT species in soil/above round.... ..how can these mono cultures inoculate/benefit any given plant in any given soil/climate in an out door open system? healthy soil microbe community's have thousands and thousands of diverse species doing different things at different times... all working together? what impact/harm/benefit can using a single species in a diverse environment like that? insect control,disease control seems like a perfect place's for mono cultures, since a specific microbe or better yet specific microbe's can produce substances to combat these SPECIFIC issues. but can these off set balance in the soil since they will find their way there? since these type of products work by preventing wouldn't a well made diverse community CT be safer/better for the site issue here are a few things i pulled from doc I's books on the subject Adding biology page 50 titled Diversity of microorganism community essential. A wide diversity of species of each functional group is needed because the environment,at any given time,selects for the growth of a very LIMITED set of those species.The environmental conditions will be right for some species of organisms to be working,while others will be asleep.A few to SEVERAL hundred will match the growth conditions at any one moment,so THOUSANDS of species of each functional group are needed. The PLANT selects and FEEDS those organisms that prevent disease around it's roots,leaves,stems,ete. Beneficial species for each set of conditions through out the year,then disease or pest cannot get established. DIVERSE sets of organisms will out compete disease pathogens and pest for food and space. same book referenced page 62 titled, Single species inoculants Applying a single bacteria species to control a specific problem OFTEN does not succeed because environmental conditions and plant requirements may not favor the growth and survival of that particular single species. DIVERSITY is essential for the organisms to work together in the right BALANCE. same page 62 ....Trichoderma trichoderma may ward off a certain problem,disease or pest-but will also compete with other non-aggressive BENEFICIAL organisms for food and space,creating the same IMBALANCED system that exists in chemically treated non-biological systems. in addition, if there is another problem that the trichoderma species cannot handle,there are not enough other types of beneficial species left that can effectively treat this new situation. If it is necessary to treat disease out break that a single species inoculum such as trichoderma can handle,we recommend adding those microbes during that disease outbreak ONLY. when the outbreak is under control, Add back a DIVERSE set of beneficial organisms that where lost. same book page 63 Bacillus....last sentence only use a single species inoculum if you know what environmental conditions that particular species requires,and IF it can perform the function you want under those conditions. Doc I's......The field guide 1........page34 title Single species inocula The single species inocula can be useful, if you know the precise thing you want to control, know that you are buying the CORRECT environmental isolate that will grow in the conditions in your soil(ie. temp,moisture,humidity,ete are right for it to grow) this can be extremely specific. You should also know if you already have the beneficial organism in your soil/compost/CT, so you know if you need to add it. to sum this all up... the reoccurring theme i get from Elaine is diversity for plant growth and disease and pest protection unless you need specific cultures to fix specific problems and then reintroduce a diverse microbe community back to leaf/soil? what are your thoughts guys?