In the Amazon region, people have long relied on biochar to improve the fertility of their lands. Researchers are beginning to understand how this amazing product works. They confirm that it is beneficial for the health of our soil.
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Biochar is a type of charcoal formed when plant material is burned in the absence of oxygen. Any type of plant material. Today it attracts the attention of researchers for two reasons in particular. The first is that it is able to store carbon.
The second is that, according to ancestral uses, it improves soil fertility.
Plant-soil interactions are supported by the presence of biochar
This is confirmed by researchers from Texas A&M University (USA). They studied the effects of biochar obtained from wheat crop residues on tomato growth, soil microbial diversity, and plant root responses. And they appear in the magazine Frontiers in analytical sciencesBiochar improves interactions between the soil microbiome and plant roots.
Among the researchers' interesting findings was that the treated soil microbiome showed increased functional activity in several beneficial microbes while reducing the activity of pathogenic fungi throughout the study period. The symbiotic activity between the plant and the microbiome is also improved. It was tomato plants and microbes “They are able to communicate better and adjust their functions – such as nitrogen metabolism – in the presence of biochar“, explains Amit Dhingra, a researcher at Texas A&M University, in an article I reported. This adjustment is important because we know that plant nutritional needs change as the plant matures.
Different biochar, different effects
However, fruit yields did not improve significantly. The researchers therefore intend to continue their work to determine whether the application of biochar can be improved. Especially since there are many different types of biochar that plants may react to differently.
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