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      Combining Willow Compost and Peat as Media for Juvenile Tomato Transplant Production

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      Agronomy
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          In 2019–2020, a study was conducted to evaluate the suitability of willow composts as a substrate or substrate component in tomato transplant cultivation. In 2019, 4-year-old chopped willow biomass (mostly chips <2 cm long) was formed into four compost prisms: S0—willow compost without additives; SN—willow compost with the addition of nitrogen; SF—willow compost with the addition of wood-decaying mycelium; and SFN—willow compost with the addition of wood-decaying mycelium and nitrogen. Willow compost was rated as a homogeneous substrate (S0, SN, SF, and SFN) and as a substrate component with peat (P), mixed in willow:peat ratios such as 25:75, 50:50, and 75:25, in the variants S0:P, SN:P, SF:P, and SFN:P. For reference, deacidified peat was used as a homogeneous substrate. The study showed that willow compost could be used as a renewable plant material replacing peat. The best parameters (plant height, leaf span, number of leaves, and especially the highest weight) were found in tomato transplants grown in the SF:P and SFN:P substrates and at a 25:75 ratio. It was found that the addition of nitrogen to the compost, in order to obtain a wide C:N ratio, negatively affected the initial growth of tomato plants.

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              Peatland hydrology and carbon release: why small-scale process matters.

              Peatlands cover over 400 million hectares of the Earth's surface and store between one-third and one-half of the world's soil carbon pool. The long-term ability of peatlands to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere means that they play a major role in moderating global climate. Peatlands can also either attenuate or accentuate flooding. Changing climate or management can alter peatland hydrological processes and pathways for water movement across and below the peat surface. It is the movement of water in peats that drives carbon storage and flux. These small-scale processes can have global impacts through exacerbated terrestrial carbon release. This paper will describe advances in understanding environmental processes operating in peatlands. Recent (and future) advances in high-resolution topographic data collection and hydrological modelling provide an insight into the spatial impacts of land management and climate change in peatlands. Nevertheless, there are still some major challenges for future research. These include the problem that impacts of disturbance in peat can be irreversible, at least on human time-scales. This has implications for the perceived success and understanding of peatland restoration strategies. In some circumstances, peatland restoration may lead to exacerbated carbon loss. This will also be important if we decide to start to create peatlands in order to counter the threat from enhanced atmospheric carbon.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                ABSGGL
                Agronomy
                Agronomy
                MDPI AG
                2073-4395
                October 2021
                October 19 2021
                : 11
                : 10
                : 2089
                Article
                10.3390/agronomy11102089
                b2cba2c6-afff-4551-802c-525a53713559
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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