Simon Jeffery

Simon Jeffery
Harper Adams University | HAUC

PhD

About

60
Publications
55,737
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6,567
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the global carbon (C) cycle is critical to accurately model feedbacks between climate and soil. Thus, many climate change studies focused on soil organic carbon (SOC) stock changes. Pyrogenic carbon (PyC) is one of the most stable fractions of soil organic matter (SOM). Accurate maps based on measured PyC contents are required to faci...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agricultural practices can cause soil degradation and decline in soil quality. Organic amendments such as green manures, sewage sludge or compost have been shown to increase soil organic matter (SOM) content and impact on soil health. Digestate from anaerobic digestion, has potential to replace inorganic fertiliser use as it contains plant availabl...
Article
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is used to produce biogas and can offer a solution in waste management. Digestate, the AD by-product, can be applied to soil to improve fertility. However, the response of soil biological communities is not fully understood. There are mixed reports on its impact on earthworm survival. This study aimed to investigate digesta...
Article
Soil degradation is one of the greatest threats to global civilization with claims that there may be as few as 60 years of harvests left globally. As such, the concept of soil health has gained increasing interest in recent years. However, despite years of research there is no universally agreed metric or metrics on which policy aimed at protecting...
Article
Full-text available
The application of organic materials to soil can recycle nutrients and increase organic matter in agricultural lands. Digestate can be used as a nutrient source for crop production but it has also been shown to stimulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from amended soils. While edaphic factors, such as soil texture and pH, have been shown to be stro...
Article
Full-text available
Research was undertaken to ascertain the effect on biogas potential during the anaerobic digestion of chicken manure containing Staphylococcus aureus and chlortetracycline (antibiotic) from infected chicken flocks. S. aureus is a pathogenic bacteria in chicken flocks that is usually treated with the broad-spectrum antibiotic, chlortetra-cycline. Ve...
Chapter
Soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration is considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a negative emissions technology. Biochar offers increased SOC sequestration potential under some scenarios and is often praised for addressing multiple agronomic and environmental challenges simultaneously, although trade-offs between such bene...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Applying biochar to soil is thought to have multiple benefits, from helping mitigate climate change, to managing waste3 to conserving soil. Biochar is also widely assumed to boost crop yield, but there is controversy regarding the extent and cause of any yield benefit. Here we use a global-scale meta-analysis to show that biochar has, on average, n...
Article
Full-text available
Agriculture and land use change has significantly increased atmospheric emissions of the non-CO2 green-house gases (GHG) nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). Since human nutritional and bioenergy needs continue to increase, at a shrinking global land area for production, novel land management strategies are required that reduce the GHG footprint...
Article
Full-text available
A representativeness survey of existing European Biochar field experiments within the Biochar COST Action TD1107 was conducted to gather key information for setting up future experiments and collaborations, and to minimise duplication of efforts amongst European researchers. Woody feedstock biochar, applied without organic or inorganic fertiliser a...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar research is extensive and there are many pot and laboratory studies carried out in Europe to investigate the mechanistic understanding that govern its impact on soil processes. A survey was conducted in order to find out how representative these studies under controlled experimental conditions are of actual environmental conditions in Europ...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aim Biochar application to soil is widely claimed to increase plant productivity. However, the underlying mechanisms are still not conclusively described. Here, we aim to elucidate these mechanisms using stable isotope probing. Methods We conducted two experiments with uniquely double-labelled (¹⁵N and ¹³C) biochar and its feedstock...
Article
Full-text available
Applying biochar to soil is thought to have multiple benefits, from helping mitigate climate change [1, 2], to managing waste [3] to conserving soil [4]. Biochar is also widely assumed to boost crop yield [5, 6], but there is controversy regarding the extent and cause of any yield benefit [7]. Here we use a global-scale meta-analysis to show that b...
Article
Full-text available
Key priorities in biochar research for future guidance of sustainable policy development have been identified by expert assessment within the COST Action TD1107. The current level of scientific understanding (LOSU) regarding the consequences of biochar application to soil were explored. Five broad thematic areas of biochar research were addressed:...
Article
Full-text available
Methane (CH4) emissions have increased by more than 150% since 1750, with agriculture being the major source. Further increases are predicted as permafrost regions start thawing, and rice and ruminant animal production expand. Biochar is posited to increase crop productivity while mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon in soils and by inf...
Book
Full-text available
What is soil biodiversity ? How does it vary in space and time ? What does it provide to society ? What are the main threats to soil biodiversity ? What can we do to preserve it ? The first ever Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas uses informative texts, stunning photographs and striking maps to answer and explain these and other questions. Going throug...
Book
Full-text available
Key messages • Soil is an important habitat for thousand millions of organisms. • Soil biodiversity is extremely diverse in shapes, colours, sizes and functions. • Soil biodiversity is globally distributed, from deserts to polar regions through grasslands, forests, urban and agricultural areas. • Soil biodiversity supports many services essential t...
Article
The potential for mitigation of N2O emissions arising from fertilizer management practices in corn systems has been scientifically assessed in recent decades. Given the strong association between fertilizer management and crop productivity, which to a large extent determines farmers’ willingness to adopt such practices, it is essential to incorpora...
Book
Full-text available
SPE EA Pôle BIOME The Atlas is divided in 8 chapters covering all the aspects of soil biodiversity: - Chapter I: The soil habitat - Chapter II: Diversity of soil organisms - Chapter III: Geographical and temporal distribution - Chapter IV: Ecosystem functions and services - Chapter V: Threats - Chapter VI: Interventions - Chapter VII: Policy, educa...
Article
Full-text available
A small contribution to the science-policy discourse regarding soils.
Article
A previously published meta-analysis of biochar impacts on soil N2O emissions by Cayuela et al. (2014) found a “grand mean” reduction in N2O emissions of 54 ± 6% following biochar application to soil. Here we update this analysis to include 26 additional manuscripts bringing the total to 56 articles. The updated meta-analysis confirms that biochar...
Chapter
Increased crop yield is a commonly reported benefit of adding biochar to soils. However, experimental results are variable and dependent on the experimental setup , soil properties and conditions, while causative mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated. A statistical meta-analysis was undertaken with the aim of evaluating the relationship between...
Article
Soil amendment with pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM), also named biochar, is claimed to sequester carbon (C). However, possible interactions between PyOM and native soil organic carbon (SOC) may accelerate the loss of SOC, thus reducing PyOM's C sequestration potential. We combined the results of 46 studies in a meta-analysis in order to investigate...
Article
Biochar (pyrolyzed biomass) amendment to soils has been shown to have a multitude of positive effects, e.g., on crop yield, soil quality, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration. So far the majority of studies have focused on agricultural systems, typically with relatively low species diversity and annual cropping schemes. How biochar amendment...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrification and urease inhibitors are proposed as means to reduce nitrogen losses, thereby increasing crop nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). However, their effect on crop yield is variable. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate their effectiveness at increasing NUE and crop productivity. Commonly used nitrification inhibitors (dicyandiamide (DCD...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar can be defined as pyrolysed (charred) biomass produced for application to soils with the aim of mitigating global climate change while improving soil functions. Sustainable biochar application to soils has been estimated to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 71-130 Pg CO2-Ce over 100 years, indicating an important potential to mitiga...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar may contribute to climate change mitigation at negative cost by sequestering photosynthetically fixed carbon in soil while increasing crop yields. The magnitude of biochar’s potential in this regard will depend on crop yield benefits, which have not been well-characterized across different soils and biochars. Using data from 84 studies, we...
Article
Life within the soil is vital for maintaining life on Earth due to the numerous ecosystem services that it provides. However, there is evidence that pressures on the soil biota are increasing which may undermine some of these ecosystem services. Current levels of belowground biodiversity are relatively poorly known, and so no benchmark exists by wh...
Article
Biochar application to soil is currently widely advocated for a variety of reasons related to sustainability. Typically, soil amelioration with biochar is presented as a multiple-‘win’ strategy, although it is also associated with potential risks such as environmental contamination. The most often claimed benefits of biochar (i.e. the ‘wins’) inclu...
Article
More than two thirds of global nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions originate from soil, mainly associated with the extensive use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers in agriculture. Although the interaction of black carbon with the N cycle has been long recognized, the impact of biochar on N2O emissions has only recently been studied. Herein we reflect on propose...
Book
Full-text available
À l'occasion de la Journée Mondiale des Sols, le Centre commun de recherche (JRC), service scientifique de la Commission européenne, publie la version française de sa cartographie unique des sols européens. L'atlas européen de la biodiversité des sols est un outil d'aide à la décision visant à protéger les sols, ressource essentielle aux cycles de...
Book
Full-text available
À l'occasion de la Journée Mondiale des Sols, le Centre commun de recherche (JRC), service scientifique de la Commission européenne, publie la version française de sa cartographie unique des sols européens. L'atlas européen de la biodiversité des sols est un outil d'aide à la décision visant à protéger les sols, ressource essentielle aux cycles de...
Conference Paper
One of the cornerstones of the sustainable biochar concept is to improve, or at least to not deteriorate, soil quality and functioning. The idea of global sustainable biochar systems, with biochar applied to global cropland and grassland soils, has highlighted limitations in: i) current scientific understanding of biochar interactions with soil com...
Article
Increased crop yield is a commonly reported benefit of adding biochar to soils. However, experimental results are variable and dependent on the experimental set-up, soil properties and conditions, while causative mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated. A statistical meta-analysis was undertaken with the aim of evaluating the relationship between...
Article
Distinct microbial phenotypes developed on the soil surfaces with UV-A and restricted-UV treatments when compared with subsurface layers. There was significantly greater fungal biomass in the no-light treatment when compared with all other treatments, with approximately 4.5 times more ergosterol being extracted from the subsurface layer of the no-l...
Article
Full-text available
Soil organisms provide numerous ecosystem services upon which all life on Earth depends. However, the soil biota is being placed under increasing threat due to the increase in anthropogenic pressures, such as loss of soil through erosion, pollution and climate change. There is a lack of informarion on the current levels of below ground biodiversity...
Book
Biochar application to soils is being considered as a means to sequester carbon (C) while concurrently improving soil functions. The main focus of this report is providing a critical scientific review of the current state of knowledge regarding the effects of biochar application to soils on soil properties and functions. Wider issues, including atm...
Book
Full-text available
Soil is one of the fundamental components for supporting life on Earth. Most ecosystem processes and global functions that occur within soil are driven by living organisms that, in turn, sustain life above ground. However, despite the fact that soils are home to a quarter of all living species on Earth, life within the soil is often hidden away and...
Article
The uppermost zone of soil represents the primary interface between the above- and below-ground compartments of terrestrial ecosystems and is functionally important since it affects water infiltration, gaseous exchange, erosion processes and the habitat for surface and near-surface dwelling fauna. Two microcosm-scale experiments were conducted to i...
Article
The nature of the first few millimetres of a soil horizon strongly affects water infiltration rates, generation of run-off, and soil detachment. Whilst much is known about the physics and erosion of soil surfaces at this scale, little is known about their microbiology, particularly in temperate arable systems. This investigation aimed to discover w...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
SOILCOMBAT aims to engineer the sponge function of Portuguese soils to sustainably combat desertification
Project
- Recycling and valorisation of waste from the agri-food sector. - Digestate effect on GHG emissions. - QBS-ar applied to digestate-amended soils.
Archived project
This Action connects scattered European Biochar research to enable quick implementation of intelligent material flow management systems, to maintain or improve soil quality while efficiently sequestering carbon in the long-term. Innovative Biochar strategies can help the EU mitigating greenhouse gases, while industries and farmers benefit from new markets, opportunities and use of improved soils, e.g. for biofuel production without endangering food supply. However, a risk assessment is necessary to protect food web and human health. Current Biochar research is often fragmented, unnecessarily repeated, and new scientific evidence is not connected or implemented, due to the lack of interaction and knowledge exchange. Therefore, this Action aims at coordinating European Biochar research, bringing together researchers, stakeholders and potential users from EU and candidate countries. This will be accomplished by annual Biochar Workshops, Short-Term Missions among EU young, senior and female researchers, Training Schools, and an internet platform to monitor and streamline Biochar R&D. Four working groups will focus on (i) Biochar production and characterisation, (ii) land use implementation, (iii) economic analysis including life cycle assessment and (iv) environmental impact assessment. The Action will thus strengthen EU’s leadership in the increasing competition with non-European Biochar actors. NOTE: The COST action was huge and had hundreds of people collaborating, I added few main names and started that RG project to have all the final papers under one umbrella. Many people still missing from the list as it is not too straightforward to copy-paste all the names from e.g. http://www.cost.eu/COST_Actions/fa/TD1107?management.