Influence of birch biochar on strawberry plants in greenhouse under attack of gray mold

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201601211057
Title: Influence of birch biochar on strawberry plants in greenhouse under attack of gray mold
Author: Xue, Yaxin
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2016
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201601211057
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/159927
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Växtproduktionsvetenskap
Plant Production Science
Kasvintuotantotieteet
Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that biochar added to soil improves plant performance. When widely used, biochar can help reduce the consumption of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The aim of this study is to explore whether biochar can help strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) plants in greenhouse to fight against foliar disease, gray mold caused by Botrytis cinerea. Disease progress was estimated after infection. Nine days after inoculation, the biomass of leaves and root were quantified to reflect the plant growth during inflection. In 2013, three types of birch biochar with different chemical compositions were tested. The best performing of biochar were selected for 2014 assay at the rate of 5.4%. Based on data obtained in 2013 and 2014, both 3% and 5.4% birch biochar amendment are able to retard gray mold development in the beginning of the infection, but disease severity finally reaches the same level on the ninth day after Botrytis cinerea inoculation. We also found that 5.4% birch biochar results in significantly increased electrical conductivity and less water consumption in peat soil. Finally, we propose that higher concentrations of biochar might more benefit the plant growth rather than contributing to plant defense. However, evidence at the molecular level is still needed to support our hypothesis.
Subject: Botrytis cinerea
birch biochar
plant defense
plant growth


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