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Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Leigh David Burrell (2014): Using biochar to build drought resistance in soil.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Bodenforschung (IBF), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 53. UB BOKU obvsg

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
Future climate change scenarios and the IPCC SREX-report have shown that drought is likely to become more frequent. With increasing demand on food production, it is critical to find innovative ways to improve soil and crop resilience. Using biochar (BC) as a soil amendment to improve water retention capacity is one such innovative technique that shows great promise. This study aims to better our understanding of the effects of these amendments via two steps. The first was to investigate how BC amendments have affected the water holding capacity (WHC), pore size distribution (PSD), soil aggregate stability (SAS), plant available water (PAW), and bulk density (BD) of BC amended soils that have been subject to several cropping cycles over a three year period. The second step assessed how these changes affected plant response to water deficit through a glasshouse experiment in which stomatal conductance, leaf area, and transpiration were measured. Three soils; Chernozem, Planosol and Cambisol, were amended with four BCs; woodchip (pyrolysis temp. 525°C), straw (525°C), and vineyard prunings (525°C and 400°C), at a rate of 3%. Results show that BC amendments significantly increased SAS, EC, pH, WHC and decreased BD in the Cambisol. An increase in WHC and decrease in BD was observed in the BC-amended Chernozem. The most pronounced effects were observed in the Planosol with increases in SAS, EC, pH, WHC, PAW and a marked decrease in BD. Straw BC had the greatest effect on the Planosol by improving PAW by 38% and SAS by over 90%. These results suggest that BC can assist in building drought resistance in soils through improving soil water relations and protecting soils against degradation processes.

Beurteilende(r): Zehetner Franz
1.Mitwirkender: Soja Gerhard

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