Status: Ongoing

In a previous SAG-funded project for a literature review on the topic of using rock dust as a potential nutrient source and carbon sequestering agricultural amendment, it was found that volcanic ash may be a good fit for the purpose.  The south-west Yukon has a notable sub-surface band of ash (White River Ash) resulting from volcanic eruption in south-east Alaska approximately 1400 years ago.  The band gets thicker closer to the origin.  This project proposes to collect an ash sample from the Beaver Creek area for use in a growth chamber trial in the YRC lab.  The ash will be used as an amendment to native, undisturbed, Yukon mineral soil in a growth chamber.  The Yukon mineral soil will be sourced near Whitehorse (likely Takhini or Ibex Valley) as a base soil for amendment to represent a realistic local growing medium, and compost from the City of Whitehorse will be used as an organic matter addition in some of the treatments.   Blends with different amounts of the materials will be trialled with multiple plant replicates for each blend, the replicates allowing for plants to be measured, dried, and weighed at several time periods throughout the trial along with observations of plant health.  If fruit forms, they will be counted and weighed.  Results will be used to determine if the ash appears to offer any nutritive value to enhance plant growth and health.

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