The Biochar Effect along the soil-rhizosphere-plant-atmosphere continuum
Co-convener: Claudia Kammann 
 / Tue, 23 Sep, 08:30–12:00  / Room B
 / Attendance Tue, 23 Sep, 17:00–19:00  / Display Tue, 23 Sep, 08:30–19:00  / Foyer

Interest in the biochar/pyrolysis platform has been growing exponentially in the last decade, stimulated by scientific novelty, industrialization opportunities, and the perceived potential to simultaneously address waste treatment, renewable energy production, and carbon sequestration. Biochar science exists at the interface of multiple disciplines: soil science, plant science, biogeochemistry, agronomy, environmental microbiology, ecology, climatology, and more. Added to soil together with organic and inorganic fertilizers, biochar has sometimes been seen to have considerable impact as a soil conditioner, including such effects as increased plant growth and yield, improved yield quality, reduced leaching of nutrients, reduced soil acidity, increased water retention, reduced irrigation and fertilizer requirements, reduced plant disease, and decreased soil emissions of greenhouse gases. On the other hand, biochar can sometimes have negative effects on plant development and nitrogen use. The totality of these impacts may be termed “The Biochar Effect”, the mechanisms of which remain largely unknown and the subject of much study and speculation. In this session, we are particularly interested in exploring the mechanisms that potentially contribute to The Biochar Effect, including chemical, biological and physical phenomena, which may also act together synergistically or antagonistically. The economic applicability of biochar technologies in agriculture or waste stream management crucially depends on the predictability of effects, i.e., the mechanistic understanding. Contributions that focus on unraveling the key influences contributing to The Biochar Effect along the soil-rhizosphere-plant-atmosphere continuum are particularly welcome.