Impact of Biochar on microbial communities

Charcoal or biochar is an emerging supplement to agricultural soil and several studies have shown its benefits in terms of plant yield and greenhouse gas emission. How charcoal excerts its positive effect is largely unknown, but there is evidence that it changes the composition and function of the soil's microbial communities (Nielsen et al. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 2014). In this project we use high-throughput sequencing to characterise the diversity of soil micoorganisms and high-resolution analytical technique to define their interactions with charcoal particles. Outcomes of the project will help to develop charcoal as a new tool for sustainable and improved agriculture. For more information contact Prof. Torsten Thomas or Dr Shaun Nielsen.

Torsten Biochar