University of Bayreuth

University of Bayreuth, Beyreuth, Germany

Slash and Char as Alternative to Slash and Burn: soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and establish a carbon sink
Christoph Steiner, Summary of Dissertation, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Geosciences University of Bayreuth, Germany, Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography, University of Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany (email:




Charcoal as Soil Conditioner: Studies in the humid Tropics
Christoph Steiner1, W. G. Teixeira2, J. Lehmann3and W. Zech1, U Georgia TP 2004


Potential of Pyrolyzed Organic Matter in Soil Amelioration
Bruno Glaser, Johannes Lehmann, Christoph Steiner, Thomas Nehls,
Muhammad Yousaf and Wolfgang Zech, 12th ISCO Conference Beijing 2002


Weed composition and cover after three years of soil fertility management in the central Brazilian Amazon: Compost, fertilizer, manure and charcoal applications

Charcoal as Soil Conditioner Studies in the humid Tropics
Christoph Steiner1, W. G. Teixeira2, J. Lehmann3and W. Zech1

1Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, Germany
2EmbrapaAmazoniaOcidental, Manaus, Brazil
3 Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, USA


Poster: Slash and Char - Soil charcoal amendments maintain soil fertility and create a carbon sink
Christoph Steiner*1, 2, Wenceslau Teixeira2, Thomas Nehls1, Johannes Lehmann3, and Wolfgang Zech1.
1 2 3 Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany; Embrapa Amazonia Ocidental, 69011-970 Manaus, Brazil; Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
* corresponding author:,

Black carbon in a temperate mixed-grass savanna
X. Daia, T.W. Boutton a,*, B. Glaser b, R.J. Ansley c, W. Zech b
Soil Biology & Biochemistry 37 (2005) 1879

Tracing black carbon in soil using SEM/EDX, biomarker analyses, and compound-specific radiocarbon analyses
S. Brodowski (1), P. M. Grootes (2), W. Zech (3), W. Amelung (1)

Mollisols are known to contain stable, black humus components which originate from
charred or coal-derived particles. As such black carbon (BC) significantly affects soil
fertility and interferes with models on soil organic matter dynamics, an accurate prediction of BC input into soils and an elucidation of the mechanisms of BC turnover
is essential. The main aims of this study were (i) to identify the sources of BC in the


Black carbon in soils: The use of benzene polycarboxylic acids as specific indicators

Bruno Glaser, Ludwig Haumaier, Georg Guggenberger and Wolfgang Zech

Institute of Soil Science, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Germany. Fax: ++49-921-552246. Email:

Mitteilungen der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft (1997) 85: 237 - 240

1. Introduction

Black carbon (BC) is formed during incomplete combustion of biomass. Being highly resistant to microbial and chemical oxidation, it is considered to be a significant sink in the global carbon cycle. Most likely, it is also a source of stable aromatic carbon in soils.

Map of the Terra Preta Occurrences in Brazil
University of Bayreuth, Germany


Terra Preta Homepage, Dark earths, Red Indian black earth
University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany 2002

Terra Preta (do indio) is a black earth-like anthropogenic soil with enhanced fertility due to high levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium embedded in a landscape of infertile soils (see soil profiles below). Terra Preta soils occur in small patches averaging 20 ha, but 350 ha sites have also been reported. These partly over 2000 years old man made soils occur in the Brazilian Amazon basin and other regions of South America such as Ecuador and Peru but also in Western Africa (Benin, Liberia) and in the savannas of South Africa. Terra Preta soils are very popularby the local farmers and are used especially to produce cash crops such as papaya and mango, which grow about three times as rapid as on surrounding infertile soils.

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