Impact of biochar on nutrient supply, crop yield and microbial respiration on sandy soils of northern Germany

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Erscheinungsjahr:
2021
Medientyp:
Text
Schlagworte:
  • carbon sequestration
  • digestate
  • corn
  • black carbon
  • microbial biomass
  • heterotrophic respiration
  • marginal soils
Beschreibung:
  • The application of biochar to agricultural soils to increase nutrient availability, crop production and carbon sequestration has gained increasing interest but data from field experiments on temperate, marginal soils are still under-represented. In the current study, biochar, produced from organic residues (digestates) from a biogas plant, was applied with and without digestates at low (3.4 t ha−1) and intermediate (17.1 t ha−1) rates to two acidic and sandy soils in northern Germany that are used for corn (Zea mays L.) production. Soil nutrient availability, crop yields, microbial biomass and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from heterotrophic respiration were measured over two consecutive years. The effects of biochar application depended on the intrinsic properties of the two tested soils and the biochar application rates. Although the soils at the fallow site, with initially low nutrient concentrations, showed a significant increase in pH, soil nutrients and crop yield after low biochar application rates, a similar response was found at the cornfield site only after application of substantially larger amounts of biochar. The effect of a single dose of biochar at the beginning of the experiment diminished over time but was still detectable after 2 years. Whereas plant available nutrient concentrations increased after biochar application, the availability of potentially phytotoxic trace elements (Zn, Pb, Cd, Cr) decreased significantly, and although slight increases in microbial biomass carbon and heterotrophic CO2 fluxes were observed after biochar application, they were mostly not significant. The results indicate that the application of relatively small amounts of biochar could have positive effects on plant available nutrients and crop yields of marginal arable soils and may decrease the need for mineral fertilizers while simultaneously increasing the sequestration of soil organic carbon. Highlights: A low rate of biochar increased plant available nutrients and crop yield on marginal soils. Biochar application reduced the availability of potentially harmful trace elements. Heterotrophic respiration showed no clear response to biochar application. Biochar application may reduce fertilizer need and increase carbon sequestration on marginal soils.
  • The application of biochar to agricultural soils to increase nutrient availability, crop production and carbon sequestration has gained increasing interest but data from field experiments on temperate, marginal soils are still underrepresented. In the current study, biochar, produced from organic residues (digestates) of a biogas plant, was applied with and without digestates at low (3.4 t ha‐1) and intermediate (17.1 t ha‐1) rates to two acidic and sandy soils in northern Germany that are used for corn production. Soil nutrient availability, crop yields, microbial biomass and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from heterotrophic respiration were measured over two consecutive years. The effects of biochar application depended on the intrinsic properties of the two tested soils and the biochar application rate. While the soils at the fallow site, with initially low nutrient concentrations, showed a significant increase in pH, soil nutrients and crop yield after low biochar application rates, a similar response was found at the cornfield site only after application of substantially higher amounts of biochar. The effect of a single dose of biochar at the beginning of the experiment diminished over time but was still detectable after two years. While plant available nutrient concentrations increased after biochar application, the availability of phytotoxic trace elements (Zn, Pd, Cd, Cr) decreased significantly. And although slight increases in microbial biomass carbon and heterotrophic CO2 fluxes were observed after biochar application, they were mostly not significant. The results indicate that the application of relatively low amounts of biochar has positive effects on plant available nutrients and crop yield of marginal arable soils and may decrease the need for mineral fertilizers while simultaneously increasing the sequestration of soil organic carbon.
Lizenz:
  • info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
Quellsystem:
Forschungsinformationssystem der UHH

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oai:www.edit.fis.uni-hamburg.de:publications/532e3369-1780-4f12-acee-3032c3d67059