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Grass silica phytoliths for enhancement of soil carbon sequestration

Grant number: 20/15505-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Carlos Eduardo Driemeier
Grantee:Djanira Rodrigues Negrão
Supervisor: Charles William Rice
Host Institution: Centro Nacional de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais (CNPEM). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brasil). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: Kansas State University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:18/07033-5 - MULTIMODAL IMAGING OF THE INTRINSIC AND EXTRINSIC INORGANIC COMPONENTS OF SUGARCANE BAGASSE AND STRAW, BP.PD

Abstract

Silica phytoliths are micro-sized bodies produced in the shoots and roots of grass crops like rice, sorghum, wheat, and sugarcane. Phytoliths are formed in cell compartments amid the inclusion of trace elements and organic carbon; the latter referred to as phytoliths occluded carbon (PhyOC). In soils, an expressive amount of phytoliths is resistant to dissolution, persisting in soils for centuries up to millennia and protecting PhyOC from oxidation. However, the quantity of PhyOC sequestered in soils and the contribution of phytoliths to soil aggregate formation remain largely unknown. This is an important problem to be tackled given the importance of grass crops in global agriculture and the importance of soil carbon sequestration as one of the main strategies to mitigate global climate change. This project aims at understanding phytoliths-organic matter associations in promoting soil health and carbon sequestration. Specifically, the objectives are: i) to understand the contribution of isolated and modified phytoliths in increasing soil aggregation. ii) to advance the development of non-invasive synchrotron techniques for the quantification, location, and speciation of PhyOC. This internship abroad will combine the expertise in grass phytoliths that is being developed in Brazil with the soil research experience with synchrotron techniques, microbiology, and carbon sequestration at the foreign institution. (AU)

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