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Terra Petra

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  1. Kilns to Make Biochar for Terra Petra
Papers
  1. Mycorrhizal Fungus (CleanAirGardening.com)
      "Mycorrhizal fungi are tiny, harmless critters that attach themselves to plant roots and actually help plants to make use of water and organic nutrients in the soil. They live on the roots of roughly 95% of all earthís plant species. In exchange for what they provide the plant, the plant offers the fungi a meal of sugars (fixed carbon) produced by the photosynthesis process."

      "Mycorrhizal fungi populate the area around a plantís roots and form very thin filaments, adding to the length and efficiency of a plantís roots. This is like having a second set of roots for the plants. Thus, plants, trees, and shrubs with a well established mycorrhizal fungal root system are better able to survive droughts and transplant shock. They also absorb more nutrients from the soil."

      "Plants with mycorrhizal fungi can survive better in their non-native environments, or that is to say, environments that donít necessarily reflect the ideal environments for their survival, such as urban areas and home gardens. Mycorrhizal fungi also boost a plantís immune system, making them resistant to soil-borne pathogens. In addition, they help to keep parasitic nematodes away." 05-09

  2. Terra Petra (TheOilDrum.com)
      "This year food shortages, caused in part by the diminishing quantity and quality of the world's soil, have led to riots in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. By 2030, when today's toddlers have toddlers of their own, 8.3 billion people will walk the Earth; to feed them, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates, farmers will have to grow almost 30 percent more grain than they do now."

      "In this post I'll have a look at modern day techniques to produce terra preta (often called biochar or agrichar) which have the potential to increase soil fertility, generate energy and sequester carbon all at the same time."

      "The key ingredient is apparently the activated carbon in the charcoal. Activated carbon has a complex, spongelike molecular structure - a single gram can have a surface area of 500 to 1,500 square meters (or about the equivalent of one to three basketball courts). Having this material in the soil has several beneficial effects, including a 20% increase in water retention, increased mineral retention, increased mineral availability to plant roots, and increased microbial activity."

      "It has also been shown to be particularly beneficial to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, which form a symbiotic relationship with plant root fibers, allowing for greater nutrient uptake by plants. There is speculation that the mycorrhizal fungi may play a part in terra pretaís ability to seemingly regenerate itself." 05-09

Purchase Resources
  1. Mycorrhizal Fungus (CleanAirGardening.com)
      "To help you improve soil health in your garden, we offer a high quality and OMRI-listed Mycorrhizal Fungi shaker consisting of 3 carefully selected species of endomycorrhizae." Awesome Library does not endorse this product but provides it as an example. 05-09

  2. Mycorrhizal Fungus (Mycorrhizae.com)
      "Mycorrhizal fungiís significant role in long-term atmospheric CO2 storage is another topical field of study. The many soil health and plant growth benefits from these ubiquitous plant symbionts are already well-documented, but it is the burgeoning knowledge related to the glycoprotein glomalin that is creating a whole new realm of soil knowledge. Glomalin, produced exclusively by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, is an organic adhesive permeating most soils and is a primary factor in creating friable soil texture."

      "The really big discovery is that glomalin is 30 to 40 percent Carbon which is stored in soil for up to 42 years. A major component of soil organic matter, glomalin accounts for 27 percent of Carbon in soil. The U.S. Department of Energy is currently funding studies to determine glomalinís promising potential to offset atmospheric CO2."

      "So where is the convergence? Biochar and mycorrhizae both augment soil sustainability and they both implement substantial long-term Carbon sequestration. The bonus is that combining these two remediations apparently compounds their cumulative beneficial properties into a powerful '2 + 2 = 5' soil scenario."

      Awesome Library does not endorse this product but provides it as an example. 05-09

  3. Mycorrhizal Fungus (ScienceDaily.com)
      "Surprisingly, the researchers found that AM fungi thrive on decomposing organic matter and obtain large amounts of nitrogen from it. The fungus itself is much richer in N than plant roots, and calculations suggest that there is as much nitrogen in AM fungi globally as in roots. Since fungal hyphae (the threads of which the fungus is composed) are much shorter-lived than roots, this finding has implications for the speed with which nitrogen cycles in ecosystems. 08-10

   
   


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