Certification Soil Ecology, Earthworms - Soil Ecology, Earthworms is a certificate course, Biochar, a black carbon substance, is gaining appeal as a soil amendment for agricultural, horticultural and garden production. The impact of biochar on soil pH, moisture, nutrient availability, and plant growth, are well studied. Less studied is the potential impact on soil biota, particularly earthworms. The majority of studies with earthworms use biochars made from wood-based materials using slow pyrolysis thermo-conversion. Slow pyrolysis biochars are less likely to carry potentially toxic volatiles and sorbed chemical constituents. However, slow pyrolysis wood-based biochars also have less potential to provide nutrients and may thus lose favor as a preferable amendment. We hope to draw together a wide variety of research to determine the potential for negative or positive, short or long-term impacts and interactions of earthworms and biochar. This examination should help us determine the likelihood of consistencies across the variety of production environments where biochar is used in the presence of earthworms, as well as draw more specific conclusions for a gradient of biochar thermo-conversion processes and feedstocks.
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