Event Title

The effect of soil carbon treatments on the germination and growth of four plant species under water-stressed conditions

Presenter Information

Shannon Babb

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu

Start Date

4-2-2014 4:15 PM

End Date

4-2-2014 4:30 PM

Description

In today’s carbon-conscious society, the use of soil carbon amendments in remediation projects has become a popular topic of study. These studies have found that carbon treatments can lower the invasion rate of weedy species into a restoration area by altering the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in the soil. This delay in invasion time is valuable in some environments because it allows desired species to fully establish and outcompete aggressive growing undesirable species. While historic studies are valuable, they have primarily focused on ecosystems that are relatively water rich. As a result, it is difficult to determine if soil carbon treatments are a valid restoration treatment for use in arid climates found in the Intermountain West. This study attempts to understand the question of how soil carbon effects plant growth under water-stressed conditions. Four species -- two desirable (Indian Ricegrass and Western Wheatgrass) and two undesirable (Halogeton and Cheatgrass) -- were grown in pots treated with one of four carbon treatments (Activated Carbon, Pinyon Biochar, Blank, and Sugar). The plant survival rates were measured throughout the study; rooting depth and total biomass were measured at the end. The plants were established and grown over a three-month period until they had reached peak biomass. At the end of the study it was determined that soil carbon treatments had a minor effect on biomass or survival of established plants, but it did have a statistically significant effect on germination success and seedling establishment.

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Apr 2nd, 4:15 PM Apr 2nd, 4:30 PM

The effect of soil carbon treatments on the germination and growth of four plant species under water-stressed conditions

Eccles Conference Center

In today’s carbon-conscious society, the use of soil carbon amendments in remediation projects has become a popular topic of study. These studies have found that carbon treatments can lower the invasion rate of weedy species into a restoration area by altering the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorus in the soil. This delay in invasion time is valuable in some environments because it allows desired species to fully establish and outcompete aggressive growing undesirable species. While historic studies are valuable, they have primarily focused on ecosystems that are relatively water rich. As a result, it is difficult to determine if soil carbon treatments are a valid restoration treatment for use in arid climates found in the Intermountain West. This study attempts to understand the question of how soil carbon effects plant growth under water-stressed conditions. Four species -- two desirable (Indian Ricegrass and Western Wheatgrass) and two undesirable (Halogeton and Cheatgrass) -- were grown in pots treated with one of four carbon treatments (Activated Carbon, Pinyon Biochar, Blank, and Sugar). The plant survival rates were measured throughout the study; rooting depth and total biomass were measured at the end. The plants were established and grown over a three-month period until they had reached peak biomass. At the end of the study it was determined that soil carbon treatments had a minor effect on biomass or survival of established plants, but it did have a statistically significant effect on germination success and seedling establishment.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2014/2014Abstracts/38