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Abstract Detail


Backer, Rachel [1], Smith, Doanld [1].

Maize root morphological response to biochar and vermiculite.

Maize growth and yield responses to biochar are well documented in the scientific literature. These responses can be due to changes in soil pH, nutrient availability and/or moisture retention. Previous research in our lab and in the published literature has indicated that corn responses to biochar are mediated by increased uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus. This work aims to determine whether the response of corn root morphology to biochar is a result of changes to soil physical and chemical properties (e.g. water and nutrient holding capacity) or if it is elicited by organic compounds contained in the biochar that directly affect plant growth. To test this, corn plants were grown under greenhouse conditions in columns (15 cm diameter, 55 cm high) filled with a soilless rooting medium (sand: Turface, 1:1). The zone 10 to 20 cm below the soil surface received one of four treatments: (1) biochar amendment (88 g per column equivalent to 5 % w/w medium), (3) biochar leachate (from 88 g biochar per column), (3) vermiculite amendment (88 g per column equivalent to 5 % w/w medium), (4) unamended rooting medium. After 27 days of growth, roots and shoots were harvested. Root structures were scanned and analyzed using the WinRhizo system (Regent Instruments, Quebec, Canada). Detailed results will be presented of the correlations of root morphological features with soil and tissue nutrient concentrations, CEC, pH and moisture holding capacity).

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1 - McGill University, Department of Plant Science, R1-023, Raymond Building, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Qc, H9X3V9, Canada

root morphology.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEP003
Abstract ID:433
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best poster presentation,CSPB President's Award for Best Student Presentation,CSPB Travel Bursary

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