Biochar is popularly added to the soil, which is similar to Charcoal. The primary goal of biochar is to improve the quality of the ground while helping to increase the nutrient and water retention of the soil. On the other hand, We do not know how the biochar will react to the soil as the soil impact fungi and the plants that live there.
Process of creating biochar by Jake Nash
A Duke University researcher, Jake Nash, studied how biochar affected the soil’s microbes like fungi and trees. According to his research, he explained that biochar could be produced from many things. For instance, it can be created with corn cobs, rice husks or Pinewood.
According to him, a unique Process known as pyrolysis produces biochar. In this method, the materials are heated in the absence of oxygen. Therefore, it makes it different from fire-burning processes.
History of biochar
Biochar has a long history as indigenous people in the Amazon basin famously use it. They amended the leftover Charcoal from cooking fires into the soil. Therefore, it created vibrant and deep earth known as Terra preta. These soils are enriched today compared to the surrounding grounds or elsewhere.
Research on biochar
Most of the biochar research was followed by short-lived crops such as corn, wheat and soybeans. In addition, rice was also included. According to Jack, few studies have been conducted on the effect of biochar on long-lived plants. For instance, few studies show how biochar affects conifer trees or other long-lived plants. This is why Nash wanted to evaluate how biochar affected grown Christmas trees, blue spruce and balsam fir.
Study and results of biochar
This research was published in the soil science society of America Journal, a popular publication of the soil science Society of America.
In this research, the results showed many changes in the soil, trees and soil fungi. On the other hand, biochar increased microbes’ activity level while decomposing the letter and returning the nutrients to the soil.
Whereas the trees were affected negatively by the biochar. One of the most important findings of this research was that the biochar affects the microbes and the plants differently, as there was a better need for understanding how above and below-ground plants interact with biochar. Furthermore, they wanted to study the effects of biochar on the inner roots and the outer plants.
According to Jack Nash, every biochar is different from another, and each needs to be well characterized before the farmers decide to use a specific fertilizer on their crop.
Adverse effects of the biochar
According to researchers, there are specific changes in this soil pH, for instance, the measure of how acidic or the basic of something, which can be caused by biochar. Biochar made things sour, which negatively affected the trees. According to Nash, many plants and microbes were also sensitive to the pH changes, which simultaneously involved the plant performance and their growth within the soil.
On the other hand, they observed that biochar increased the soil moisture because it acts as a sponge and retains water. In this research, the rudimentary biochars make the soil even more basic after applying the ballots. This affected the soil acidity and symbiotic fungi.
During the research, one symbiotic fungus, also known as Wilcoxina Mikalae, dominated plant roots. That is, researchers performed tests on these roots to see what happened and what made the fungal communities to be affected. This research was conducted to understand the effect of biochar on tree growth.
Further tests were performed to understand the better effects of biochar. According to Nash, they may be able to perform chemical testing on the biochar to help them know how it will perform in the field.
According to the researchers and the studies, biochar has the potential to reduce or remove carbon from the atmosphere. According to them, if the researchers and the scientists can understand the better use and effects of biochar, it can be used to improve soil health and combat climate change.
With few words, Jack Nash explained bioChar. He says biochar is not a magic silver bullet for plants or soil health issues. According to him, bio child needs to be used carefully when addressing specific problems of the soil health and the plants as it can also have adverse effects on the tree growth.