Poster Session & Social
4:40 PM - 6:30 PM Wed
POSTER PRESENTER #5
CO-AUTHOR: Brian Ohsowski, Loyola University Chicago
TITLE: Utilizing biochar to restore damaged ecosystems
ABSTRACT: Due to agricultural and road salt runoff, wetlands can become sites of high nutrient loads and high salinity rates. Biochar, created by burning organic material, has the ability to bond to these ions and possibly help sequester harmful salts and nutrients. To better understand the complicated interactions between biochar and the ions present in these systems, we designed an experiment to test how biochar interacts with different rates of fertilizer and road salt over different time intervals. We added biochar, fertilizer, and salt to artificial streams to mimic the simplified hydrology of a wetland. We collected data at weekly intervals. The biochar will be analyzed for salt, nitrogen, and phosphorus to discern biochar’s ability to bind to these ions. This poster will focus more on the experimental design, although we may have some preliminary results to share. The outcomes and effectiveness of this experiment can help the scientific community better understand biochar’s chemical behavior and its application in wetland restoration practices.
BIO: Madeline Palmquist is an undergraduate student studying conservation and restoration ecology. Madeline has been working under Dr. Ohsowski at Loyola on invasive species and wetland ecology. More recently, Madeline has been working on a biochar experiment, hoping to better understand the impact of biochar on high salinity rates and high nutrient rates in wetland ecosystems.