Qinhua Shen

Doctor of Philosophy, (Soil Science)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Can Biochar Ameliorate Phosphorus Deficiency and Aluminium Phytotoxicity in Acid Soils?

Biochar use as soil amendment to enhance soil functionality is being increasingly investigated, with particular attention given to its effects on the sustainable increase of crop production and carbon capture. The reported results on the influence of biochar on soil functionality and plant growth are inconsistent. Miss Shen investigated the possibility of using certain tailored-made biochar from local forest waste to increase phosphorus (P) availability to plants in acidic soils in New Zealand. She found the resultant product of willow woodchip, produced at 550 degrees Celsius in the absence of oxygen, to be a better soil additive due to high nutrient and liming values compared with that of pine woodchips. She also developed methodologies to measure the length of soil mycorrhizal fungi filaments (so-called hyphae) and to evaluate the P transferred by these hyphae. Her research findings provide a fundamental understanding of plant-soil-microorganism interaction.

Supervisors
Professor Marta Camps Arbestain
Dr Miko Kirschbaum
Professor Michael Hedley

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