8:30 am - 9:30 am
Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Prem Pokharel. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.
Thesis Topic: Effects of biochar on rhizosphere processes and biochar co-application with nitrification inhibitor on GHG emissions and microbial and enzymatic activities
PhD with Dr. Scott Chang
This research aims to explore the benefits of biochar application to Canadian Prairie soils on enhancing rhizosphere processes and the efficacy of a nitrification inhibitor through six studies. The first study assessed the effects of pyrolysis conditions (including pyrolysis temperature and steam activation) of biochar production in GHG emissions and showed that increasing pyrolysis temperature had greater impacts on reducing GHG emissions than post-pyrolysis steam activation. The second and third studies examined biochar’s effects on rhizosphere processes and crop production; those studies demonstrated that biochar can be effectively used to manipulate carbon and nitrogen cycling in rhizosphere soil and to increase crop yield. The fourth and fifth studies examined biochar’s interaction with nitrapyrin (a commonly used nitrification inhibitor), the results showed that biochar reduced the efficacy of nitrapyrin in reducing soil nitrification rate and nitrous oxide emissions. A global meta-analysis in the sixth study showed positive impacts of biochar on soil microbial biomass and some enzyme activities. Overall, biochar application can be beneficial in reducing GHG emissions and increasing crop production in Canadian Prairie soils.