Effects of biochar on leaching of nutrients, greenhouse gas emissions and food supplies in agriculture

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Title: Effects of biochar on leaching of nutrients, greenhouse gas emissions and food supplies in agriculture
Author: Oyekoya, Gboyega Nathaniel
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe201804208699
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Atmosphere-Biosphere Studies
Abstract: Methods for mitigating climate change have been researched for decades. It has been established that most of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4) are due to anthropogenic activities. Significant amount of these gases, particularly N2O and CH4 are emitted due to agricultural practices. To boost food supply, nitrogenous fertilizers are the most common fertilizers used in farming, and as the global population will increase to 9 billion by 2050, it is crucial to keep pace with both the population growth and potential economic development. Applying biochar in soil has been regarded as a potential approach to combat climate change while boosting food supplies. In this study, the effect of two different biochars mixed with 15N-labelled ammonium nitrate ( either nitrate NH415NO3, or 15NH4NO3 ammonium labelled) fertilizers in growing Meroa Tetraploid Italian Ryegrasses (Lolium multiflorum) were investigated in Greenhouse Viikki Campus Greenhouse, University of Helsinki, Finland. We monitored the impact of biochars on the aboveground biomasses (g pot-1), roots biomasses (g pot-1), and total biomasses (gram/pot). Furthermore, retention of leachates (nutrient ions) such as atom percentage (at%) 15N-labelled ammonium ion (at% 15NH4-N), mg NH4-N, at% 15N -labelled nitrate ions (at% 15NO3-N %), and mg NO3-N were investigated as well. Lastly, GHG fluxes of N2O-N (ug Kg-1 soil hr-1), CH4-C (ug Kg-1 soil hr-1), CO2-C (mg Kg-1 soil hr-1) were also included in our research for a period of one month in comparison with control samples and fertilized control. Leachates were collected once a week, and gas samplings were measured twice each day for two days in a week. Gases sampled, and leachates collected were analysed, and the plants were detached to obtain the amount of aboveground biomasses (leaves), roots biomasses (roots) and total biomasses (leaves + roots). Our objective affirmed a more eco-friendlly model that biochars can reduce nitrogenous fertilizers applied with an increased agricultural produce. It was concluded that, the effects of different biochars on these mentioned attributes are distinguishable.

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