Title

Biochar/Feedstock By-Product as a Soil Amendment in Agricultural Systems

Advisor

Cox, Michael S.

Committee Member

Phillips, J. Mike

Committee Member

Pote, Jonathan W.

Committee Member

Kingery, William L.

Date of Degree

8-1-2015

Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Agronomy

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Department

Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Abstract

Soil biochar application effects in agricultural systems are not well understood. Corn (Zea mays L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), cereal rye (Secale cereal L.), and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) were grown on two soils amended with four rates of biochar, a Marietta fine sandy loam (fine-loamy, siliceous, active, thermic Fluvaaquentic Eutrudept) and a Houston silty clay (very fine, smectitic, thermic Oxyaquic Haplaudert) and allowed to equilibrate for 56 days. To investigate a possible nitrogen effect, three nitrogen rates were added to non-legume species. Our results revealed reductions in nutrient uptake across all crops, but this followed the same trend as shoot dry weight production and plant tissue concentration for pots treated with biochar. The significant reduction in uptake and tissue concentration are believed to be linked to smaller plant sizes. Therefore, it is believed that biochar applications are not having an effect on plant growth.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/21194

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