A dark past for a bright future in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Raised of $6,070 Goal
Ended on 6/27/17
Campaign Ended
  • $411
  • 7%
  • Finished
    on 6/27/17



For insect characterization we will use pitfall traps. The most widely use methodology in the tropics, and the one we have used before as a base line of insect assemblage. In the Identification we will be mainly focused on fungivores or scavengers, these animals are expected to change due to biochar addition.  

In the lab we are going to simulate biochar additions of 5, 10 and 15 Ton/ha to see the insect responses (The insects expected to be used for these essays are Blattodea, Scarabaeidae, Isopoda, Rhaphidophoridae). We will also test pH presenfences by liming local soils, or decreasing the pH of basic soils, testing at list pH preferences to 4, 5, 6, 7. Moisture content will be also assessed by, having different moisture rates: 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%. Those tests, except for biochar addition, are based on soil characteristics previously analyzed in the silvicultural sites.

Looking for terra preta will be exciting. We will have meetings with people from different local communities who will guide us in the quest to find this Anthropogenic Dark Earths (ADE). Once found, ADE soils will be also assessed based on pitfall traps inside and outside the sites.


One of the important challenge is the inclusion of local and women in scientific research, we will have for sure the collaboration of one female student. However, we will encourage others to join the Invert-Biochar group. The support for meals and transportation for local students will be a great help guarantee student participation.

The trips to look for terra preta will send us to remote locations, we are aware of potential natural hazards (thunderstorms, snakes), and we will be also with a local representative since some localities could be inhabited by dangerous people.  The transportation will be an great challenge to account for, and we are working on solving that through other grant applications.

Pre Analysis Plan

A ordination analysis of the invertebrate data from the field will be a must. This will give us a clear view of the invertebrate drift between ADE, biochar soils and non-ADE, non-biochar-addition plots. With that analysis we will be able to see patterns in the invertebrate responses, once compared with the environmental variables (soil chemical, physical and biological parameters). Once we established those patterns, we are expecting to see a correlation in fungivore - biochar addition (pH, moisture) response. This variances will be also analyzed to identify the trends of the responses.


This project has not yet shared any protocols.