A teaspoon of soil may have billions of microbes divided among 5,000 different types, thousands of species of fungi and protozoa, nematodes, mites and a couple of termite species. How these and other pieces all fit together is still largely a mystery. [..] “The greater the soil diversity, the fewer diseases that emerge in plants,” said Eric B. Nelson, who studies soil and disease ecology at Cornell.
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY: Rural China tries to break its coal addiction by using straw
SHANGQIU, China -- This is not the equivalent of Silicon Valley. There isn't a lab in sight or a high-tech industrial park in the area. What attracts most of the attention is a two-floor factory building with a signboard that reads "Shangqiu Sanli New Energy Demonstration." Still, this is a noteworthy place. It is healing one of China's long-standing headaches. That headache is straw, basically an agricultural waste collected from nearby farms.
Biochar and denitrification in soils: when, how much and why does biochar reduce N2O emissions?
Agricultural soils represent the main source of anthropogenic N2O emissions. Recently, interactions of black carbon with the nitrogen cycle have been recognized and the use of biochar is being investigated as a means to reduce N2O emissions. However, the mechanisms of reduction remain unclear. Here we demonstrate the significant impact of biochar on denitrification, with a consistent decrease in N2O emissions by 10–90% in 14 different agricultural soils. Using the 15N gas-flux method we…
Cool Planet: A Company That Makes Biochar And Gasoline
Cool Planet has some serious investment money behind it from big-name companies, and a grandiose plan: create gasoline from non-food biomass at low cost, while creating biochar that can increase crop yields with less water and fertilizer. If the are successful, the implications are enormous.
Biochar Bob Goes to Mexico - Via Organica
Bob Cirino is "Biochar Bob". In a visit to the Via Organica Ranch near San Miguel, Mexico, he interviews Rachel Kastner and local farmers who are learning and applying ideas of regenerative agriculture, growing lots of healthy food in small spaces, and incorporating biochar in innovative ways like under turkey bedding where it controls ammonia and produces a rich composted product.
Biochar quiets microbes, including some plant pathogens
In the first study of its kind, Rice University scientists have used synthetic biology to study how a popular soil amendment called "biochar" can interfere with the chemical signals that some microbes use to communicate. The class of compounds studied includes those used by some plant pathogens to coordinate their attacks.
Biochar - helping trees stand strong when every carbon capturing leaf counts | Carbon Gold
Those who plant and protect trees know the active role they and their trees play in mitigating climate change, and this is certainly recognised by decision-makers, if not yet budgeted for by all. DEFRA is halfway through its Big Tree Plant, which aims to plant a million trees by 2015. A handful of UK cities …