Examining the effect of biochar on C sequestration, greenhouse gas production, and soil biogeochemistry in different agricultural operations in Alberta

Application of biochar to enhance the growth of crops and final yield in agriculture has received a lot of attention recently, while the benefits to environment through deceleration of carbon loss and greenhouse gases leading to control climate changes and global warming are poorly understood. This study focuses on possible changes of biochar on carbon content, greenhouse gases, physicochemical properties, and microbial structure of the soil in Alberta. To investigate effects of biochar on carbon storage in arable and forest soils, respiratory losses of soil and biochar carbon and mean residence time of biochar, an isotopic method will be used. Important types of green house gases will be collected their concentrations could be measured by different experimental analytical methods. Chemical properties of the soil will be evaluated as well as nutrients before and after addition of biochar. Finally, Extraction of phospholipid fatty acids from soil before and after incubation with biochar is a method to study possible changes in microbial biomass (fungal and bacterial).

Mohammad Khodaei
Faculty Supervisor: 
M Derek MacKenzie
Partner University: