Biochar effect on sorghum biomass yield under drought stress

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Title: Biochar effect on sorghum biomass yield under drought stress
Author: Bada, Bolajoko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Kasvintuotantotieteet
Plant Production Science
Abstract: This research was conducted to examine the effect of biochar on drought tolerance and growth of a grain crop. Biochar is a multipurpose charcoal that heals the soil and promotes crop yield. The experiment was part of University of Helsinki biochar research during the summer and autumn of 2011. The effect of biochar was studied in a greenhouse experiment to determine how well it can improve sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench) yield. The experimental factors were amount of water given at low, intermediate and full watering levels, and the absence or presence of Acacia-biochar at level of 10 t/ha in the pots of soil used. The number of leaves per plant, leaf surface area, number of panicles, number of grains per panicle, plant and panicle height, root biomass, and whole plant (above ground) biomass was obtained. The plants were grown in a high greenhouse temperature to mimic the Sudanese extreme weather temperature according to the Khartoum Sudan weather forecast at the time of the experiment. The plants got same amount of water from cultivation until the emergence of 5 leaves. Early drought was proposed to determine its effect as the plant move from vegetative to reproductive stage and the effect of biochar on the soil water holding capacity (WHC). The drought stress started at 5 leaf stage of the plant life cycle. The data were analyzed using 2-way analysis of variance (Anova) statistical tools in SPSS (version 20.0, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) software. Drought stress affected panicle development, grain yield, plant height, leaf surface area and overall biomass yield. Grain yield and whole plant biomass weight was higher in non-stressed plants. The results indicated no relief to drought stress by biochar addition. In this experiment, the addition of low biochar might be responsible for it inefficiency.
Subject: Biochar
Drought condition
Biomass yield

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