Biochar Effects on Ecosystems

Biochar (BC) plays a critical but poorly understood role in the global carbon cycle. Because it is a highly stable form of carbon compared to the original biomass from which it is produced, its production and management has been proposed as a technology for reducing atmospheric CO2 stocks, which contribute to climate change.

It will explore how the phospholipid fatty acids can be used to determine how biochar affects the structural, compositional, and functional capacities of microbial communities in different soil ecosystems. Used in combination with natural isotope or radioisotope (13C or 14C)-labeled substrates, it has the potential to determine soil organic matter cycling rate, monitor C flows from plants to soil microbes, and identify below-ground trophic relationships. Insights into biochar effects on soil phospholipid fatty acids, alternatives to data analysis, its limitations, and knowledge gaps are highlighted.

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