Poster Session & Social
4:40 PM - 6:30 PM Wed
POSTER PRESENTER #18
TITLE: How do different feedstock types influence biochars potential as a restoration tool in wetland ecosystems
ABSTRACT: Industrial agriculture practices over the past century have resulted in nutrient-loaded waterways and reduced biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers are often overapplied and subsequently leached from soils, resulting in high levels of pollutants such as ammonium, nitrate, and phosphate within impacted watersheds. Nutrient run-off accelerates the growth of harmful algal blooms and monocultures of invasive species. Specifically, the invasive hybrid cattail Typha x glauca outcompetes native wetland vegetation and degrades crucial wildlife habitats. Biochar, a soil amendment made from pyrolyzed organic wastes, can adsorb plant-available nutrients, potentially reducing nutrients that facilitate the spread of T. x glauca. The type of organic waste, or feedstock, used to produce biochar influences its chemical and physical properties. My research investigates the biochar feedstock from various organic wastes (i.e. wood waste, T. x glauca) and the ability of these biochars to adsorb nutrients when incorporated into wetland soils. This research aims to compare the nutrient adsorption rates of store-bought wood waste biochar, T. x glauca biochar made in situ, and control mesocosms without biochar. I compared nutrient adsorption rates for each treatment through the application and analysis of plant root simulator probes and soil ion chromatography. My research results will provide essential feedback on how different biochar feedstocks and application rates affect eutrophicated wetland systems. The results will also provide further knowledge on how to apply biochar in disturbed wetland ecosystems for soil remediation and invasive species control for future restoration projects.
BIO: Skylynn Roxo received a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University Chicago, majoring in Environmental Science. As an undergraduate, she did independent research with Team Typha, a research group with a focus on wetland ecosystems. Her research project focused on the remediation of nutrients from eutrophication wetland soils using invasive cattail-based biochar.