Portland’s Doug Phillips attended the second Asia Pacific Biochar Conference held in Kyoto, Japan. The conference brought environmental researchers together to discuss their latest findings.
Biochar, also known as organic charcoal, is a by-product of producing bioenergy and has the ability to provide a storage mechanism in soils to sequester vast amounts of carbon. It differs from charcoal due to its use as a soil amendment rather than as a fuel.
Doug Phillips, Greening Australia’s Alcoa Landcare VIC South West Seedbank manager presented a paper on the germination and growth responses of native plant species to biochar-amended potting mixes.
“We found some species involved in that trial delivered statistically significant germination responses over the control,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve translated some of that work into the field, where we’re doing field trials to establish whether we’re going to get improved growth rates and resilience from the addition of various percentages ofbiochar against controls.
We’re also doing what can be best described as a (biochar) storage trial, where we’re looking at how much we can put underneath our revegetation species and not cause detrimental impacts.”