White Rose Studentship Networks 2016/2019
Sustainable Agriculture: BIOchemical-physical-biological function of Sludge in Agriculture Soils (BIOSAS)
University of Leeds, University of Sheffield, University of York
Network Leader: Dr Xiaohui Chen, University of Leeds
SAVE OUR SOILS
The sustainability of agriculture is threatened by soil degradation due to the loss of organic matter and resulting loss of structure which impairs its capacity to store water and nutrients. Loss of organic matter also leads to increases in soil erosion rates which, in arable land, typically exceed rates of soil formation by 1-2 orders of magnitude.
News and Media
The 4th BioSAS meeting was held at The University of Sheffield.
The 3rd BioSAS project meeting will be held at Leeds Farm.
The first Project meeting will be held at the end of March at University of Leeds.
University of Leeds
Professor Doug Stewart & Dr Xiaohui Chen
University of Sheffield
Professor Jonathan Leake & Professor Steve Thornton
University of York
Professor Mark Hodson & Dr James Chong
Effects of sludge-rainfall interactions on soil quality and crop production
Supervisors: Professor Leake, Sheffield; Dr Chong, York.
Recycling of sewage sludge onto agricultural land can help restore soil carbon and nutrient stocks and reduce erosion. Additionally, increased organic matter levels can change the activity of “ecosystem engineer” organisms such as earthworms. Earthworm burrowing helps generate soil macropores, which play a central role in developing soil drainage. Earthworm bioturbation also helps incorporate organic matter into soils, thereby sustaining soil processes.
Microbiological and geochemical response of sludge amended soils to extreme weather
Supervisors: Professor Stewart, Leeds; Professor Thornton, Sheffield.
Climate change is increasing extremes of weather including wetter winters and drier summers. While sludge addition can improve soil resilience to drought and storm events, the interactive effects of sludge on earthworms, soil microorganisms and crops remains poorly understood. Effective management of critical soil functions for sustainable crop growth will not be possible without this knowledge. In particular, the consequences of heavy rainfall events at different time periods after sludge application resulting in sludge-storm disturbed soil (SDS),requires urgent investigation to resolve the biochemicalphysical-biological functional effects on agriculture
Earthworms and water drainage – impacts of floods and sewage sludge amendments
Supervisors: Professor Hodson, York; Dr Chen, Leeds.