Crops

Phytoliths: Aid to bio-sequestration

The last few decades has seen a lot of attention being focused on climate change and the increasing level of greenhouse gasses in the environment. Recent studies have clearly suggested that concentration of global carbon dioxide level has gone up from 398.13 ppm (July 2015) to 401.72 ppm (July 2016) (ESRI/NOAA, 2016). It is imperative that the effective technologies are used to sequester carbon and bring down carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration to combat climate change ‘Carbon sequestration is the long-term capture and storage of carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon using plants, soils, geological formations and the ocean to mitigate global warming and climate change’. When only organisms are involved, it is termed as terrestrial (or biological) sequestration. Atmospheric carbon is stored within the plant organs, and then makes its way into the soil through plant residue. Thus, it ends up being stored deep within the soil for a very long time. Of all the mechanisms of carbon sequestration, bio-sequestration is arguably one of the most effective and low cost methods to decrease the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (Parr et. al. 2010). Studies suggest that wetland plants, grasslands, forest and shrub biodiversity are one of the significant options to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide as plants ultimately return to the soil as plant residue (Parr and Sullivan 2005; Fang et...

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