Researchers answer burning questions on biochar

February 6, 2022 |

In North Carolina, the Soil Science Society of America reports that Duke University researchers led a study to determine how biochar affected microbes like fungi, as well as trees. Biochar can be produced from many things like corn cobs, rice husks or pine wood and is created through pyrolysis, where the material is heated in the absence of oxygen.

Biochar is similar to charcoal and can be added to soil with the goal of improving its quality. It can help increase nutrient and water retention. However, what happens in soil impacts fungi and plants that live there, and it is not always clear how they will react to biochar.

Their results showed many changes to the soil, trees, and soil fungi. They found that biochar increased the activity of certain microbes, which help decompose litter and return nutrients to the soil. However, it also had negative effects on the trees.

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Category: Research

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