Presentation on theme: "Conservation Grassland"— Presentation transcript:
1 Conservation Grassland Soil MineralsTerra PretaTerra Preta de IndioCarbonCharcoalMystery Soil of the Amazon“dark earth” (Portuguese)How did the native Amazon tribes create these remarkably fertile and productive soils?Amazon Basin, Brazilreduced carbon1867: Ballard S. Dunn, Confederate exilebook: Brazil: Home for Southernerslauds high fertility of Amazon dark soilLocal farmers prize terra pretadug up and sold as potting soilyields up to three fold as great as surrounding infertile tropical soilssustained fertility in intensive useHigh Carbon (SOM) contentup to 9%compared with .5% in other soilssometimes over 20%one to two meters deepTerra PretaConservation GrasslandMinnesotaFerralsolHow have these remarkable soils sustained their fertility and productivity for five centuries?1879: explorer Herbert Smithtales of Amazon in Scribner's Monthly:“extraordinary fecundity of cane fields…“stalks ten feet high… big as a wrist…"rich ‘terra preta’… best in Amazon…“fine, dark loam… often two feet thick"Small Patchesaverage: 20 hectares (50 acres)350 hectares (865 acres) reportednear settlements & on bluffsembedded pottery sherdsanimal & fish bones, cultural debrisAge: yearsradio-carbon dating (charcoal)recent research: 6000 yearsWhat can we learn from these remarkable soils to sustain soil fertility and productivity today?High nutrient contentCalcium & PhosphorusNitrogenCation Exchange Capacity (CEC)Can this method to create tropical soils provide insights to improve temperate climate soils?1966: Wim Sombroek (Dutch; )published his book: Amazon Soilsfirst scientific study of terra pretaMade from Ferralsol or Acrisolpredominant soils in Amazonacidic, notoriously infertilepoor nutrient capacityCan this method to sequester carbon in soil help us reverse global warming and climate change?1992: Sombroek publishes his first bookon terra preta for carbon sequestrationHigh Microbial activity“microbial reef”nitrogenous bacteria (nitrogen fixing)Aerial Surveysup to 10% of total land areaable to feed 5-10 million people2002: Sombroek forms Terra Preta Novato use char on farms as a carbon sink2007: first international biochar conferenceclickto continueclickto continueclickto continueclickto continueclickto continueclickto continue
2 Terra Preta is biochar a nutrient? Increased Fertility In normal soil, biochar breaks down very slowly(oxidation,weathering & digestion)– over centuries, rather than monthshigher Phosphorus & Calciumhigher Nitrogenincreased nutrient availabilitylower acidityhigher pH bufferingwater retentionphysical structurebiological habitat (microflora & fauna)Biochar isn’t consumed by soil lifeBiochar freshly made is sterile,with no biological activity– no microbesclickto continueclickto continueclickto continueAdding only biochar to soilretards plant growthfor up to two yearsFertilizers must be addedwith biocharterra pretaBiochar is a spongeto hold water & nutrients,and a substrateto provide habitat & housingfor microbesacrisoltypical Amazon soilinfertilebiochar
3 Terra Preta 2001 Global Research biochar benefits cation exchange capacity increased (Glaser)water-holding capacity 18% increase (Glaser)biomass growth 266% increase (Steiner 2nd year)324% increase (Kishimoto & Sugiura)plant nitrogen uptake doubled (Steiner)farm chemical runoff reduced (Yelverton)clickto continueclickto continue
4 Christoph Steiner1; W. G. Teixeira2; Johannes Lehmann3; W. Zech1 Terra PretaResearch3-Year Field TrialsRice & Sorghum366%267%881%Christoph Steiner1; W. G. Teixeira2; Johannes Lehmann3; W. Zech11 Institute of Soil Science, Univ. of Bayreuth, Germany 2 Embrapa Amazonia Ocidental, Manaus, Brazil3 Dept of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell Univ., USAclickto continueclickto continue
5 Bark Biochar & Fertilizer Terra PretaResearchBark Biochar & Fertilizerbiochar+NPKbiochar+NPKNPKcontrolcontrolNPKThis was presented by Dr. OgawaEffect of bark biochar and fertilizeron plant growth and soil propertiesin south SumatraYamato 2004 unpublishedclickto continue
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