Event Title

Biochar has distinct effects on root, shoot and fruit production in beans, tomatoes, and willows

Location

Science Center Perlik Commons

Document Type

Poster

Start Date

5-13-2022 12:00 PM

End Date

5-13-2022 2:00 PM

Abstract

Biochar (charcoal produced through anaerobic combustion of biomass) provides a mechanism of concurrently sequestering carbon and increasing soil fertility and food production. Positive relationships have been documented between biochar concentration and plant growth. However, effects of biochar are variable across source materials, soils, environments, and plants. This variability causes difficulty in generalizing from previous research. Our study investigated the effects of biochar from a uniform source (waste wood from a hazelnut orchard), in a constructed soil inoculated with mycorrhizae, on the different plant tissues (roots, shoots, and fruits) of three functionally distinct species: cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon), bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), and willow saplings (Salix sp.). This experiment took place over the summer of 2021 and five biochar treatments were used: 0%, 2.5%, 7.5%, and 20% by weight, including a low inoculant treatment at the 7.5% biochar level. Plants were grown in fabric pots, rotated weekly, fertilized and irrigated. We found that biochar had a highly significant impact on plant biomass, with increased biomass at higher biochar levels and the strongest responses in green beans. Tomatoes were the only species to demonstrate differing effects on tissue growth, with only fruit and shoot biomass increasing with biochar application. Biochar treatment correlated with higher germination rates and earlier flowering in green beans. Our results are consistent with the prior findings that biochar can increase growth rates of a variety of plants and different tissues within plants. Our results provide additional evidence that effects differ among species and among tissues.

Keywords:

Agriculture, Environmental science, Soil, Carbon sequestration

Notes

Presenters: Sunniva Sheffield and Taylor Hoefer

Major

Environmental Studies

Project Mentor(s)

John Petersen, Environmental Studies

2022

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 13th, 12:00 PM May 13th, 2:00 PM

Biochar has distinct effects on root, shoot and fruit production in beans, tomatoes, and willows

Science Center Perlik Commons

Biochar (charcoal produced through anaerobic combustion of biomass) provides a mechanism of concurrently sequestering carbon and increasing soil fertility and food production. Positive relationships have been documented between biochar concentration and plant growth. However, effects of biochar are variable across source materials, soils, environments, and plants. This variability causes difficulty in generalizing from previous research. Our study investigated the effects of biochar from a uniform source (waste wood from a hazelnut orchard), in a constructed soil inoculated with mycorrhizae, on the different plant tissues (roots, shoots, and fruits) of three functionally distinct species: cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicon), bush beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), and willow saplings (Salix sp.). This experiment took place over the summer of 2021 and five biochar treatments were used: 0%, 2.5%, 7.5%, and 20% by weight, including a low inoculant treatment at the 7.5% biochar level. Plants were grown in fabric pots, rotated weekly, fertilized and irrigated. We found that biochar had a highly significant impact on plant biomass, with increased biomass at higher biochar levels and the strongest responses in green beans. Tomatoes were the only species to demonstrate differing effects on tissue growth, with only fruit and shoot biomass increasing with biochar application. Biochar treatment correlated with higher germination rates and earlier flowering in green beans. Our results are consistent with the prior findings that biochar can increase growth rates of a variety of plants and different tissues within plants. Our results provide additional evidence that effects differ among species and among tissues.