Kiel, Damaging effects of biochar on plant defence casts doubt on geoengineering claims

Media response to Viger, Maud; et al. (2014). "In the first study of its kind, research undertaken at the University of Southampton has cast significant doubt over the use of biochar to alleviate climate change."


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1 Comment

Craig Sams Craig Sams,

This research verifies that biochar works to increase mycorrhizal populations in soil These act as the plant's first line of defence against disease causing pathogens. Nature never wastes energy. Why would a plant produce defence chemicals that it doesn't need? It can use the same ingredients (H, O, N, C) to produce growth hormones and has enough natural intelligence not to waste energy producing unnecessary jasmonic and salicylic acids and ethylene. The fact that they don't produce these defensive chemicals indicates that they are less susceptible to attack by pests and pathogens and the answer must lie in the fact that biochar hosts a thriving community of beneficial bacteria and fungi.
These researchers describe the result as 'surprising.' It would be far more surprising if this was not the result of their research.

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