Biochar Effect on Crop Physiology Under Drought and Salinity Stress

PhD defence, Thursday 14 December 2017, Fauziatu Ahmed.

2017.12.14 | Trine Berndt Turtiainen Scheelke

Fauziatu Ahmed

An image showing branched grass roots, taken whiles the plant was growing in the soil. The red mesh is a grid that is used for counting roots and the white light is an LED light from the rootsnap sensor. This tool developed in Fauziatu´s PhD project provides a new technique to observe plant root growth and dynamics in situ.

During her studies, Fauziatu Ahmed investigated plant responses to biochar-amended sandy soils under drought and salinity stress in Denmark and Ghana. Sandy soils in these two contrasting agro-ecological zones are characterised by low water and nutrient retention, as well as resistance to root penetration consequently affecting crop production. Another aspect of her study was to develop a new method for observing roots in situ. The findings of Fauziatu´s research indicate that wheat straw biochar ameliorated drought stress in maize grown under greenhouse conditions in Denmark, in addition to reducing subsoil resistance to root penetration. It also highlights the need to combine farm management measures with rice straw biochar in effort to ameliorate salt stress in field-grown shallots in Ghana. This research contributes to the understanding of plant response to biochar amended sandy soils over time. From a methodological perspective, it provides a new tool to gain insight into root growth non-destructively.

The PhD degree was completed at the Department of Agroecology, Graduate school of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

The PhD student prepared this résumé.

Time: Thursday 14 December 2017 at 10:00
Place: Auditorium, AU Foulum, Blichers Alle 20, 8830 Tjele
Title of dissertation: Biochar amendment to temperate and tropical sandy soils: Effect on crop physiology under drought and salinity stress
Contact information: Fauziatu Ahmed, e-mail:, tel.: +45 52762583
Members of the assessment committee:
Senior Scientist Henrik Skovgård (Chairman), Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Researcher Abraham Joel, Department of Soil and Environment, Swedish University of Agricultural Science
Associate Professor Majken Pagter, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University
Main supervisor:
Professor Mathias N. Andersen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Researcher, Emmanuel Arthur, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Senior scientist, Finn Plauborg, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The dissertation is available for reading at the Graduate School of Science and Technology/GSST,
Ny Munkegade 120, building 1520, rooms 128-134, 8000 Aarhus C.

PhD defence
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Revised 22.03.2018